Driver of stolen car in Limerick pursuit 'was high on Xanax and cocaine'

David Hurley


David Hurley

Michael Shanahan was prosecuted on indictment at Limerick Circuit Court

Michael Shanahan was prosecuted on indictment at Limerick Circuit Court

THE driver of a stolen car which flipped “at least three times” during a high speed pursuit in Limerick was disqualified from driving and did not have insurance, a court has heard.

Michael Shanahan, aged 25, of Garryglass Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, has pleaded guilty to multiple charges relating to an incident in the early hours of May 19, 2017.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Brian Culbert said the defendant stole a 12-L-registered Peugeot 308 from the driveway of a house at  Ballinacurra Road after opening the front door of the house and taking the keys.

Some time later – at around 2am –  gardai were alerted to a collision involving the stolen car and another car at the junction of Childers Road and Hyde Road.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the defendant had driven through a red light and that he failed to remain at the scene.

Gardai encountered the Peugeot at Lord Edward Street a short time later with its lights turned off.

“Quite a chase ensued,” said John O’Sullivan BL, instructed by state solicitor Padráig Mawe.

Detective Garda Culbert said the stolen Peugeot reached speeds in excess of 120kph during the pursuit and that it drove the wrong way on Rosbrien Road.

The vehicle performed a 180 degree turn in the car park of Lidl before travelling to Greenfields Road in an attempt to evade gardai.

After entering Ballinacurra  Gardens, the vehicle struck a footpath flipped a number of times before landing on its roof.

Pat Whyms BL said his client had attended a party earlier in the night during which he consumed cocaine and Xanax.

“He was in a bad state,” he said, noting that blood tests taken on the night had shown a high concentration of the drugs in Mr Shanahan’s system.

Having been shown photographs of the crash scene, Judge O’Donnell commented they were “enlightening and frightening”.

The matter was adjourned to March 5, next for sentencing.