Limerick ditch was the only injured party in crash, court hears

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan


Kilmallock Court

Kilmallock Court

THE ONLY damage done in a Limerick car accident was to the ditch, a solicitor said.

Denis O’Donovan, aged 31, of The Stables, Ballykisteen, Limerick Junction, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

Sergeant Michelle Leahy said at 6.30pm on September 20, 2015, gardai received a report of a vehicle overturned at Raheenamadra, Knocklong.

“It was in the middle of the road. The lights were on and the engine was running. It appeared it was coming from the Knocklong direction and collided with the ditch. It was blocking the left hand lane. Gardai found a driving licence in the vehicle belonging to Mr O’Donovan,” said Sgt Leahy.

Judge Marian O’Leary said: “He just left?”. “Yes,” said Sgt Leahy.

The judge asked what time it happened at?

“6.30pm in September,” said Sgt Leahy, who added that O’Donovan contacted Bruff garda station.

“He was interviewed and admitted he was the owner and driver and to leaving the scene,” said the sergeant. The court heard O’Donovan has 22 previous convictions.

Brendan Gill, solicitor for O’Donovan, said the “only damage done was to the ditch”.

“He is a 31-year-old father of one. He works as a sub-contractor. He had group insurance through a company he set-up but due to various claims the policy increased. He was of the view that the vehicle was insured but he accepts it wasn’t. He made contact with gardai,” said Mr Gill.

O’Donovan took the stand and said as the insurance premium had gone so high it was reduced to two jeeps.

“I got a phone call that my partner had crashed so I took one of the jeeps. When I came around the bend, something went wrong - it was the tyre. I hit my head. I didn’t have my mobile with me so I walked to the house of people I knew a quarter of a mile away to help me get the car off the road. If I didn’t know the insurance wasn’t transferred over I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking it,” said O’Donovan.

Judge O’Leary disqualified him from driving for two years and fined him €400 for no insurance, and €300 for failing to remain at the scene.