20 May 2022

Driving ban for Limerick motorist following late-night garda pursuit

Newcastle West Courthouse

Newcastle West Courthouse

A MOTORIST who was pursued at high speed along a number of narrow rural roads in west Limerick has been disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Michael Gore, aged 20, of Abbeylands, Rathkeale pleaded guilty, at Newcastle West Court, to three charges of dangerous driving relating to an incident which occurred in the early hours of January 7, 2020.

Inspector Liam Wallace said gardai encountered a red Renault Megane, being driven by the defendant, at 2.55am and that it “accelerated away at speed” and drove off when the blue lights were activated. 

He said there were a number of people inside the vehicle at the time and that the car was pursued at high speed along a number of roads between Rathkeale and Askeaton.

The specific charges before the court, related to offences in the townlands of Cappagh, Askeaton; Rosemount, Rathkeale and Ballyadam, Askeaton.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican was told Mr Gore reached speeds in excess of 120km/h in an 80km/zone and that he was observed by gardai crossing over a continuous white line and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Insp Wallace said at one point during the pursuit the Renault Megane “almost hit a concrete wall” while at Rosemount, Rathkeale all four wheels “left the road” when the car went over a hump while travelling at speed.

He said the occupants of the car fled after it was stopped and abandoned and that Mr Gore made admissions when he presented himself to gardai the following morning.

Solicitor Michael O’Donnell said there was “no logical explantion” for his client’s behaviour on the night but he asked the court to note he was fully insured and had a licence.

Seeking leniency, he said Mr Gore has no previous convictions and he submitted they would have no case against him without his admissions.

Judge Coolican was told the defendant was “chased” by another vehicle earlier in the night but that was not an excuse for the way he tried to evade gardai.

He has not come to the attention of gardai since the incident which occurred more than two years ago.

In addition to the one-year disqualification, the judge imposed fines totalling €800.

One of the three charges was taken into consideration while two further charges were withdrawn by the State once the guilty pleas were entered.

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