Man lost control of van after he sped off from gardaí

An 18-year-old man was sentenced to detention at this week’s Ballina District Court for three separate dangerous driving incidents; one which occurred during a probation period.

On June 16 2011, Garda Noel Prendergast observed Oisin Kearney, Kincon, Ballina, drive in the Kincon area at 3pm. The garda knew that the defendant was disqualified from driving and he followed Kearney.

The defendant increased his speed, and suddenly without indication Kearney turned left into a minor road where he skidded and lost control of the van which ended up on the incorrect side of the road.

The defendant again took off at speed and eventually slowed down and stopped.

In May, the defendant appeared before Ballina District Court for two other dangerous driving incidents. The facts outlined were that on November 10 gardaí were called to a single vehicle traffic accident at Ballinagavna, Killala, after reports were made that a car was on its roof in a ditch. When Sergeant James Murphy arrived at the scene, the car had been moved to the middle of the road, and there was smoke coming from it. Kearney revved the engine and sped off in the car.

Gardaí activated the patrol car’s lights and siren and followed Kearney, however the defendant failed to stop.

Kearney drove at speed, often on the wrong side of the road, and even went around a bridge on the wrong side of the road. Sgt Murphy said that the front right wheel of the car was running sideways. After driving for 10 to 12 kilometres, Kearney stopped and abandoned the car in Kincon. The front wheel was on fire.

On January 16 2011 at 12.50am, Garda Martin McNicholas observed a car being driven in Ballina by Kearney. The car almost hit parking bollards. The lights and siren of the Garda car were activated, however the defendant failed to stop.

Kearney was observed to pass through a junction at Dillon Terrace/Castle Road without yielding and he continued to drive at high speed. The garda car managed to pull alongside the car and signalled for it to stop, however Kearney put his foot down.

At the junction of the Belleek/Killala road the defendant did not yield or indicate as he drove through it. The Garda car managed to pull alongside the car and again signalled for it to stop, however Kearney again put his foot down.

For dangerous driving in November he was convicted and fined €200 and disqualified from driving for two years. For failing to stop on the same date he was convicted and fined €200 and disqualified from driving for three years concurrent.

For dangerous driving in January, Kearney was convicted and fined €200 and disqualified from driving for four years concurrent. For failing to stop he was convicted and fined €200 and disqualified from driving for five years concurrent.

At this week’s sitting, Judge Devins said “let me spell this out”, in spite of these convictions and during a probation period Kearney reoffended in “exceptionally dangerous circumstances”.

The judge sentenced him to three months detention for the November incident and three months detention concurrent for the January incident.

For the most recent incident in June, he was convicted and fined €500; disqualified from driving for 10 years and sentenced to three months detention consecutive, with the final two suspended on the condition that when he leaves prison that he will reside with his mother in Kinnegad and does not return to Mayo for 12 months.

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