Judge: It is not acceptable to drive like mad men

A judge has said he will not tolerate rally fans coming to Donegal and driving like “mad men” during the Donegal International Rally.

Judge Paul Kelly hit out at a number of rally fans who committed driving offences during the Rally Weekend.

He was speaking at Letterkenny District Court as he dealt with several cases related to incidents during the June event.

Gardaí made 58 rally-related arrests over three days.

A number of cases involved rally fans from outside Donegal — most of those before the court were from outside the county.

He said: “It’s clear now that word has gone out to other counties that people can come to Letterkenny and drive like mad men [during the rally] and they think it’s great craic.”

He warned one driver that he was in danger of losing both his liberty and his licence after being caught dangerous driving at more than 170kph on the dual carriageway from Manorcunningham to Letterkenny.

Craig Pardy pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after Sgt Charlene Anderson reported how Pardy had been driving the middle of three cars speeding through the townland of Dromore at 8.30pm on Friday, June 17.

Inspector Goretti Sheridan said the three cars were going so fast the Garda car could not keep up with them.

As the cars slowed at the Dry Arch roundabout, Pardy sped into the inside lane in his yellow Honda Civic. He was arrested but refused to co-operate with gardaí.

The IT consultant based in Dublin but with an address at Ashbrook Drive, Birr, Co Offaly, was in court for the hearing.

Defence solicitor Kevin McElhinney said Pardy had never been in Letterkenny before and was trying to keep up with his friends.

Judge Kelly said Pardy is in danger of losing his liberty and his licence and said that people coming to Letterkenny to drive “like mad men” was not acceptable.

He said the charge of dangerous driving was as serious one compared to others he had heard and refused to deal with the case today.

He ordered Pardy to take part in the pro-social driving programme and to pay €500 towards the cost of it.

He adjourned the sentence until October 3.


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