Drunk driver crashed through barrier at Limerick Tunnel and drove on wrong side of motorway

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Drunk driver crashed through barrier at Limerick Tunnel and drove on wrong side of motorway

Derek Ivory admitted crashing through a barrier at the Limerick Tunnel

A MAN who drove for almost fifty kilometres on the wrong side of the M7 motorway while almost five times the legal alcohol limit has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

When arraigned at Limerick Circuit Court, Derek Ivory, aged 57, of Willow Crescent, Riverbank, Annacotty pleaded guilty to three charges of endangerment relating to the offences  on April 21, 2015.

The charges state that while driving a 06L-registered vehicle Mr Ivory “intentionally or recklessly” engaged in conduct which “created a substantial risk of death or serious harm” to other road users.

The defendant has admitted crashing through a barrier at the entrance to the northern bore of the Limerick Tunnel and to driving the wrong way through the Tunnel and continuing on the motorway as far as Coolderry near Nenagh, County Tipperary.

During a brief hearing, the 57-year-old also pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving at Cooleen, Birdhill on the same date.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant provided a breath sample to gardai after he was stopped at Coolderry, Nenagh.

An analysis of the breath sample showed a concentration of 106 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres – the legal limit is 22. 

After the defendant formally pleaded guilty to the five charges before the court, John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting acknowledged it was a “very early plea”.

Judge O’Donnell noted this and he adjourned the matter to March 31, next when he will hear evidence from gardai in relation to the facts of the case during a sentencing hearing.

The drink-driving and dangerous-driving charges attract mandatory disqualifications while the maximum sentence for the endangerment charges is seven years’ imprisonment.

Mr Ivory was remanded on continuing bail pending next month’s sentencing hearing.