A road rage stand-off lasted for almost an hour on a busy road last August when two motorists, one championing the ignored Rules of the Road, blocked a traffic calming island and only agreed to move when a garda threatened to seize their cars, the Galway District Court heard last week.
Eileen Lydon with an address at 195 Corrib Park, Newcastle, and Lawrence Ward with an address at 121 Innishannagh Park, Galway, were both summoned to court for allowing their vehicle to remain in place so long as to cause an obstruction at Siobhan McKenna Road, Newcastle, on August 28, 2008.
Inspector Pat McHugh told the court that at 2.40pm gardai received a call to go to a traffic calming island on the Siobhan McKenna Road where there was an obstruction caused by a dispute over which driver had the right of way.
The court heard that Lydon had felt that instead of yielding Ward had actually increased his speed to make it through the traffic calming island first. As she believed that she had the right of way Lydon parked on the road in protest and Ward did the same, both refusing to move and causing an obstruction to other motorists.
Inspector McHugh added that “one was as thick as the other” and that “the guard had to threaten to take the cars of them before they would move” .
Lydon’s solicitor Áine Feeney said that her client had been on her way back to work at Hibernian Insurance after having lunch and that she had the right of way. She said that Ward did not yield to her client and that the dispute lasted for almost an hour.
“It was a kind of road rage,” Judge Mary Fahy replied.
“My client moved immediately when the Gardai arrived,” said Ms Feeney who added that it had been Lydon who rang the Gardai at 1.45pm to get their assistance.
“I would have thought that the Gardai have enough to do,” said Judge Fahy.
Lydon told the court that there “would not have been an obstruction if he [Ward] had obeyed the Rules of the Road. If everyone else continues to act like that there’s going to be an accident one day”.
Judge Fahy told her if there had been an accident then Ward would be to blame because he did not have the right of way. She added that both were “as bad as each other”.
Solicitor for Ward, Sean Acton, said that his client was out of the country and that such a case “should never have been in court”.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Fahy said that she was not inclined to record a conviction against the two defendants and instead ordered them to pay €200 each to the court poor box. The case was adjourned to February 23, 2009.