Prison term over high speed pursuit in Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Courthouse
A YOUNG man was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to multiple road traffic offences relating to an incident which a judge described as the most dangerous she had ever dealt with.

A YOUNG man was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to multiple road traffic offences relating to an incident which a judge described as the most dangerous she had ever dealt with.

Judge Mary Larkin made her comments after she was shown dramatic CCTV footage of a high-speed pursuit through parts of the city centre on February 12, last.

Darragh Hanrahan, aged 22, of Hilltop, St Patrick’s Road pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving while under the influence of cannabis.

Detective Garda Barry O’Grady said he initially encountered the defendant - who was driving a silver Volvo estate - while on patrol near Mount St Laurence at around 9.40pm.

He said Hanrahan, who has more than 80 previous convictions, took off at speed travelling in the direction of the city centre.

He was pursued at speeds in excess of 100kph through various parts of the city including Garryowen, Mulgrave Street, Edward Street and Parnell Street.

Detective Garda O’Grady said he broke a number of red lights, overtook queues of traffic at several junctions and forced oncoming traffic to take evasive action.

Footage from CCTV cameras overlooking Parnell Street showed him ‘undertaking’ a number of cars and travelling at speed on the wrong side of the road past Colbert Station.

Judge Larkin was told after he abandoned his vehicle near Mount St Lawrence cemetery he jumped the wall of a nearby housing estate and was located hiding under a bush in the front garden of a house.

Solicitor Kate Fanning said the father of two young children has had problems with ‘street drugs’ such as Xanax in the past but is now trying to turn his life around.

Judge Larkin said the defendant was completely out of control on the night and had turned the city into “one of the most dangerous traffic incidents that I have ever heard of”.

She imposed sentences totaling 17 months’ imprisonment and disqualified Hanrahan from driving for ten years. He was also fined a total of €1,6000.

Hanrahan was released on bail pending an appeal.