Limerick District Court, the court heard that William O’Reilly, 27, of Bay 7, Ballyvillane halting site, was seen driving a sulky near Ballysimon Road “in a very aggressive manner"
A MAN has been banned from driving for four years after he veered into oncoming traffic in Limerick during a St Patrick’s Day “sulky parade”.
At Limerick District Court, the court heard that William O’Reilly, 27, of Bay 7, Ballyvillane halting site, was seen driving a sulky near Ballysimon Road “in a very aggressive manner, crossing the centre of the roadway”.
The court heard that gardaí were alerted to the scene of a sulky race on March 16 last, at which the accused was seen as “very agitated and aggressive”.
However, solicitor Ted McCarthy told the court that “it wasn’t a sulky race; it was an annual sulky parade” that is celebrated every year around St Patrick’s Day.
Insp Paul Reidy said that when gardaí turned on the blue lights and indicated the driver to pull in and stop, he told the officers in the patrol car to “f*** off”. Mr O’Reilly drove to Ballysimon Road and stopped at a car park, where gardaí approached him, the court heard.
This was the start and finish line of the parade, Mr McCarthy told the court. He said that the horse which Mr O’Reilly was driving was young and he “had difficulty keeping it in a straight line”.
Mr McCarthy said that the accused said that the gardaí “were causing a distraction”.
The defending solicitor added: “He accepts that he caused an inconvenience. He was concerned that the horse was difficult to handle.”
Judge Mary Larkin said: “This gentleman was in charge of the sulky and he had a horse that was difficult to handle. He had to veer into oncoming traffic.”
For the Section 53 dangerous driving offence, Judge Larkin imposed a four-year disqualification and a €500 fine, to be paid within six months.
For Section 6 public order offence towards the gardaí, the judge handed down a fine of €500.
“If you wanted to explain the situation, you could have used other language. The gardaí were trying to do their job,” she said.