Disqualified Limerick driver stopped, banned and jailed in just four hours

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The man pleaded guilty to a number of road traffic charges just over four hours after he was stopped and arrested by gardai

The man pleaded guilty to a number of road traffic charges just over four hours after he was stopped and arrested by gardai

A TRAVELLER was jailed just a matter of hours after he admitted driving while disqualified in Limerick.

Patrick O’Donoghue, aged 30, who has an address at Rhebogue Halting site, Rhebogue pleaded guilty to a number of road traffic charges just over four hours after he was stopped and arrested by gardai.

Garda Christopher O’Mara told Limerick District Court he stopped a Volkswagen Passat which was being driven by Mr O’Donoghue at Glenbrook, Old Singland Road at 9.54am on October 11, last.

During court proceedings shortly after 2pm, he said while the defendant informed him he did not have his drivers licence on him it was quickly established that he was, in fact, disqualified from driving.

Judge John King was told when this was put to the defendant, he confirmed he was aware of the disqualification but thought it had not come into effect.

Solicitor Sabina Hegerty said her client, who has 49 previous convictions, including seven for dangerous driving, mistakenly believed the matter for which he was disqualified earlier this year was under appeal.

“He is extremely sorry for the incident,” she said.

Ms Hegerty told Judge King her client had come under pressure that morning to repay a debt he owed and that he was “going to pay the bill” when he was stopped by Garda O’Mara.

She said the unemployed father-of-four has abused substances in the past and is hoping to enter a rehabilitation programme in the near future in an effort to address his addiction issues.

While noting Mr O’Donoghue’s guilty plea, Judge King commented he has an “atrocious record” and has been disqualified on a number of occasions in the past – including as recently as this summer.

The judge also noted he has a history of non-attendance in court and that 18 bench warrants have been issued for his arrest in the past.

O’Donoghue was jailed for three months for driving without a drivers licence while a five month prison sentence imposed for driving without insurance was suspended for two years.

A four-year disqualifcation was also imposed.