Ballycastle man convicted of careless driving

A Ballycastle man denied he caused a road traffic accident because he took his eyes off the road for a moment in Ballina District Court this week.

Patrick McDonnell, Carrowniskey, Ballycastle, was before the court for careless driving, which caused the accident on June 14, 2012, and injured a female motorist.

McDonnell denied the charge but Judge Mary Devins said the case was proved and fined him €250.

Garda Patrick Garvey was called to the accident on the day. He told the court it was a two-car collision. One car was driven by McDonnell and a second car was driven by Mary Bourke.

Garda Garvey said Ms Bourke was being attended to by ambulance and fire service personnel.

Garda Garvey spoke to McDonnell. Garda Garvey said McDonnell admitted he had looked away for a moment before the collision occured.

Mary Bourke also gave evidence. She said the collision occured on a bend, where she had little visibility of the road ahead. She said McDonnell was out in the middle of the road and she couldn’t avoid the collision.

She also said McDonnell spoke to her immediately after the accident. He said he had looked away from the road because he was looking at cattle and he apologised.

Solicitor for McDonnell, Henry Hewson, said his client was not in the middle of the road and didn’t make that statement to Ms Bourke.

Ms Bourke said that was wrong because she remembered the accident very well.

Giving evidence, McDonnell denied telling Ms Bourke he was looking at cattle at the time of the accident. He said he may have told Garda Garvey he had looked away for a second. He said he wasn’t driving in the centre of the road.

Convicting McDonnell of careless driving, Judge Devins said the defendant should be thankful he wasn’t charged with dangerous driving.

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