‘Absolute menace’ put off the road at Limerick court for careless driving

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

“He is a menace, an absolute menace,” Judge Mary Larkin said at Newcastle West court

“He is a menace, an absolute menace,” Judge Mary Larkin said at Newcastle West court

A MAN who was driving at 190kph and overtaking other vehicles had a charge of dangerous driving reduced to the lesser charge of careless driving at Newcastle West court. 

But Judge Mary Larkin described John O’Connor, Sandy Acre, Ballycannon, Meelick, Co Clare as a “menace”, fined him €250 and disqualified him from driving for six years for the offence last January 1 at Fanningstown.

She fined him €500 and disqualified him from driving for four years for drink driving on the same date and fined him a further €300 with a four-year disqualification for driving without insurance. She also fined him €200 for driving without a driving licence. 

Garda John Shanahan, in his evidence, said he was on patrol when he saw a car driving at high speed and overtaking against oncoming traffic.

The car was travelling at about 190kph, he said, for some three kilometres or so and he pursued and stopped it. The driver, John O’Connor, was in an “extremely agitated state”, the garda said.

“There was a strong smell of alcohol from his breath and when asked for his address, he started shouting, saying it was my job.” 

Garda Shanahan called for back-up and O’Connor “threatened to do harm to me”. When O’Connor heard the back-up coming, he had to be subdued with pepper spray, the garda said. 

Pleading for his client, solicitor Michael O'Donnell said O’Connor had gotten a call saying his child was sick and he had to get to the grandmother’s house in Brureee.

“He shouldn't have driven knowing he was disqualified,” Mr O'Donnell said. But his judgement was somewhat clouded as he had alcohol taken,  he added. His client apologised for his behaviour. 

“He is a menace, an absolute menace,” Judge Mary Larkin said, before convicting O’Connor and imposing penalties. She fixed recognisance with leave to appeal at €250.