Rally weekend suspects face jail

Three men who appeared before special courts held throughout the weekend to deal with dangerous driving activity surrounding the annual Rally of the Lakes have been warned at Killarney District Court they could face jail.

One of the men has been in custody since the early hours of Saturday after being arrested for allegedly driving at 120km/h an hour through the streets of Killarney, Co Kerry, and breaching red lights with gardaí following during the rally weekend.

The three were granted bail yesterday.

Farmer and cattle dealer William Dunne, aged 25, of Templemore Road, Erris, Portlaoise, Co Laois, was described by Judge James O’Connor as “the most serious” of the alleged offenders.

He was arrested on Friday night and brought before a sitting of Killorglin court on Saturday accused of driving at high speed through red lights in his Lexus car and doing a 180 degree turn at one stage. He was doing speeds of 120km/h, the court was told.

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A chase ensued with gardaí pursuing and with Mr Dunne circumnavigating cars stopped at red lights before he eventually stopped, the court was told.

Mr Dunne had never been in custody before but the State objected to bail and Judge James O’Connor jailed him for the weekend.

Then on Saturday night at a special court sitting in Killarney, Colm Walsh, aged 20, Polerone, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, appeared charged with dangerous driving at Minish, Killarney, on May 1.

A garda 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. Around 30 to 40 cars had gathered at the scene.

Jimmy Fogarty, aged 20, of Parkstown, Horse and Jockey, Thurles, Co Tipperary, appeared before a special court on Sunday night charged with dangerous parking and abusive behaviour at Gleesk, Kells, on May 2.

He was on bail on a number of other traffic charges in Thurles, the court was told.

An application by Mr O’Connell for bail for all three was granted yesterday, with consent from the State. However Judge James O’Connor warned Mr O’Connell there were several ways open to him to deal with such offences.

“One of the options” was custodial, Judge O’Connor warned.



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