Woman who was driving at speed in Limerick had cannabis in her system

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick District Court heard the woman drove at excessive speed through a built up area in the city

Limerick District Court heard the woman drove at excessive speed through a built up area in the city

A WOMAN who drove at excessive speed through a built up area in Limerick city had cannabis in her system at the time, a court has heard.

Catriona O’Leary, aged 32, who was living at The Grove, Pallasgreen at the time, was disqualified for four years after she was convicted of drug driving.

Garda Sean Sheehy told Limerick District Court he and a colleague were on duty at Mungret Street at around 11.30pm on January 9, 2016 when he observed a vehicle approaching at “excessive speed”.

He said the car failed to halt at a stop sign and did not indicate as it travelled towards Cathedral Place and onto Garryowen Road.

Garda Sheehy said the vehicle was pursued and stopped a short time later.

Judge Brian O’Shea was told a suspected joint was found on the passenger seat of the car and that a plastic bag containing suspected cannabis was located in the footwell on the driver’s side.

Ms O’Leary, who now lives in County Waterford, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving at 11.50pm and taken to Henry Street garda station for processing.

A doctor was called at 1.05am and Ms OLeary later provided a urine sample which confirmed the presence of cannabis-class drugs.

Cross-examning the witness, solicitor Darach McCarthy questioned why the urine sample was not posted to the Medical Bureau of Road safety until six days later.

Garda Sheehy said he finished his tour of duty at 7am on January10 and had been unable to return to the garda station during his rest days as a “family issue” had arisen.

The precise nature of the difficulty was not disclosed and the garda was not pressed on the matter by Mr McCarthy. 

Garda Sheehy said the urine sample was in a secure locker at the garda station which meant colleagues could not access it to post it.

Mr McCarthy submitted the garda should have made the necessary arrangements as he knew he would be off-duty for several days.

Having considered legal submissions from Mr McCarthy and Inspector Dermot O’Connor, Judge O’Shea proceeded to convict Ms O’Leary.

He fined her €400 and imposed the mandatory four year driving ban.  An appeal has been lodged.