Young people who persist in deliberate dangerous driving are the “manufacturers of their own demise”; this was the severe response of a District Court judge this week who disqualified a defendant after he was found “drifting” at a roundabout with other boy racers.
At Galway District Court last Monday was Daniel Finnerty (23 ) with an address at Kilgarriff, Headford Road, who pleaded guilty to the charge of dangerous driving at Parkmore, Ballybrit, on August 18, 2007.
Inspector Ernie White told the court that on the date in question, at 12.15am, gardai arrived at a roundabout at Parkmore where they heard “screeching of tyres”. They then observed three cars “drifting” around the roundabout while other cars had blocked off access to it. When gardai arrived two cars drove away but the defendant was soon apprehended. The inspector said that there were two other people already dealt with by the courts. He added that “this defendant was co-operative” with gardai and that he had no previous convictions.
Finnerty’s solicitor said that the defendant, who works as a design engineer, was coming from Headford, when he “saw what was happening” and in a moment of “stupidity decided to join in”.
“It was very very foolish and dangerous,” replied Judge Mary Fahy.
The solicitor then asked the judge not disqualify him on this occasion. She added that Finnerty didn’t know the other people involved in the incident.
“I’m repeating myself time and time again. This type of driving is not acceptable. This is deliberate. If young people are going to persist in this it’s their own fault if it affects their jobs. They are the manufacturers of their own demise,” replied Judge Fahy.
Finnerty was convicted and fined €500 with three months to pay and disqualified from driving for 12 months. The disqualification was postponed until January 1, 2009.