Bachelor farmer, 77, can ‘motor on’ for one more year

A 77-year-old bachelor farmer who was caught drink driving more than three years ago will be allowed “motor on” for another year, a court has decided.

Tom Sullivan from Lisheen, Firies, Killarney, had pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on October 22, 2013, at Leamnaguilla, Beaufort, Killarney.

The blood-alcohol reading was 175 which meant a two-year mandatory suspension from driving, Killarney District Court was told.

Mr Sullivan’s solicitor Padraig O’Connell said he was seeking an adjournment “just to keep him going”. The matter first came before Killarney District Court in June 2014 and was adjourned for various reasons. This week, on its seventh outing before the court, the State agreed to a final adjournment to November 2018.

Judge James O’Connor invited the slightly stooped, white-haired Mr Sullivan to sit up near him, on a low chair in front of the bench.

The judge questioned him on his circumstances. Mr Sullivan said he lived on his own in an isolated area about 4km from Firies village, on the Killarney side.

He drove a ‘98 Nissan and also had “a bit of a tractor”. “I had a good one, one time,” he told Judge O’Connor.

Nieces in North Kerry called to him “off and on” but they also called to his brother, another bachelor farmer who lived nearby, he told the judge. He would be totally stranded without his car.

The judge asked Mr Sullivan, as he made his way from the bench, if he ever bothered getting into relationships with women.

“They didn’t bother with me,” was the reply.

His solicitor, Mr O’Connell, said he was looking for an adjournment (of the driving ban) “ just to keep him going”.

Judge O’Connor remarked “his heart mightn’t be the strongest — but he’s motoring on”.

He agreed to a further adjournment, “once more” to next autumn.

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