Boy racers fined €15k as judge issues rally warning

Four boy racers were yesterday fined a total €15,000 after gardaí in Kerry mounted a covert operation near Killarney two weeks ago.

During the operation, between midnight and 12.30am on the Friday-Saturday night of April 2, gardaí came across 20 cars parked on the N22 main Cork-Kerry road. Five men were observed completing multiple doughnuts all at the same time.

Three of the men were yesterday fined €3,500 each, a fourth can pay €4,500 to the court’s poor box to mitigate an offence against him to a lesser charge of careless driving or driving without due care. A fifth accused is to be dealt with at a later date.

With Killarney hosting the annual Rally of the Lakes over the May bank-holiday weekend, Judge James O’Connor yesterday issued a public warning to potential boy racers.

Noting he had to deal with “boy racing activities” at the event every year, he said: “Anyone caught during the rally this year, the figure will be a lot more than €3,500.” He was warned that offenders may face jail time.

The five men were all aged between 18 and 25.

Devices limiting their speed to 100km/h for a period of two years are to be installed in their cars.

Judge O’Connor suggested they consider trading in their powerful 2-litre cars for “nice small bambinos, around 900ccs, that would hardly go against the gale of wind”.

None of the men in court yesterday had previous convictions. All were in gainful employment, but also “had a passion for cars”, solicitors told the court.

One accused, Kelvin McGillycuddy, from Glenbeigh, a machinery operator on a wind farm, had since disposed of his Lexus, solicitor Paul O’Donoghue said. His case was adjourned to Killorglin District Court next week.

Gary Healy, aged 19, a store worker, of Foiladown, Clonkeen, Killarney, did about 20 doughnuts on the night, driving his sister’s Ford Sierra, said Garda Joe O’Sullivan.

A week later, April 9, driving his own Toyota Starlet, he was observed entering and exiting the Park Rd roundabout near Tesco at speed, with the rear of the car sliding.

He is to pay €4,500 to the court poor box.

Solicitor Padraig O’Connell said while the penalties seemed harsh, it was “better than being at a coroner’s inquest”.

Mr O’Connell also acted for Seán O’Sullivan, aged 25, a joiner, of Gortdarrig, Headford, Killarney, who was spotted doing seven doughnuts on the N22.

Adrian O’Connor, aged 21, a trainee linesman, of Carrigeen, Culllia, Headford, did about 30 doughnuts in his BMW, the garda said. He was extremely embarrassed, said his solicitor, Dan O’Connor.

Gavin O’Connor, aged 19, a road worker, of Colleanaig, Beaufort, Killarney, did between 25 and 30 doughnuts on the night.

The Rally of the Lakes has passed his home since he was a child, and he got carried away on the night, said his solicitor, Eoin Brosnan.

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