Man to pay €5k after 120kph town chase

A cattle dealer arrested during a rally weekend in Killarney, Co Kerry, after driving at 120kph through the town in the early hours is to pay €5,000 to the court poor box and is to have a speed limiter fitted to all vehicles he drives.

In all, three men arrested for driving dangerously over the May bank holiday rally appeared in court yesterday in Killarney. A number of other people are expected to appear in the coming weeks.

The court was told there had been a major garda clampdown during this year’s rally.

William Dunne, aged 25, of Templemore Road, Erris, Portlaoise, Co Laois, had driven at speed through Killarney in his Lexus, had navigated around vehicles stopped at red lights, and did 180 degree turns near St Mary’s Cathedral.

He had been doing speeds of up to 120kph and was remanded in custody over the holiday weekend.

Yesterday, he apologised through his solicitor Padraig O’Connell, who said that his client came from a good family and was ashamed of his behaviour.

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Judge James O’Connor ordered Mr Dunne to fit a speed limiter within 10 days so he will not be able to drive over 100kph an hour. The judge warned Mr Dunne that if he appeared again, the next time there would be “free turkey” (a term in jail), a conviction, and a disqualification. “I won’t be back. Trust me,” Mr Dunne said.

Supt Flor Murphy of Killarney gardaí said the speed limiter should be fitted to all vehicles Mr Dunne drove and the judge so ordered.

Meanwhile, a second man involved in “an unfortunate accident” during the rally weekend was also ordered to fit a speed limiter to his vehicle for two years after crashing a four-wheel drive near a roundabout near Tesco. Joe McElligot, aged 23, of Ballinorig, Causeway, crashed into the Park Road roundabout at Park Road, Killarney, at around 9.30pm, the court was told.

The previous court was told by gardaí while it happened during the weekend of the rally, it was more an accident than anything else.

Yesterday, the evidence was that Mr McAuliffe had revved the powerful Mitsubishi and ended up in the roundabout. Garda Cara Kelly said gardaí were investigating boy-racing activity at Tesco and at the roundabout leading to the shopping park when she saw Mr McAuliffe at the head of a line of traffic.

“It was his girlfriend’s vehicle and he did not realise how powerful it was,” Garda Kelly told the court.

A third man, who “got a rush of blood to the head” on the opening night of the rally and did a single ‘doughnut’ (marking the road with a skid) is to pay €3,500 to the court poor box and is also to fit a speed limiting device to his vehicle for a period of two years. Colm Walsh, aged 20, of Polerone, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, was initially charged with dangerous driving at Minish, Killarney, on May 1. Padraig O’Connell solicitor said Mr Walsh had reacted to the rally.

A garda, who had been in an unmarked garda car, said he saw the defendant doing a ‘doughnut’ in the middle of the Cork to Killarney road at 11.30pm. About 35 cars had gathered there. All three matters have been adjourned for finalisation.

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