Exhausted ‘Fastest Fingers’ musician crashed his van

A fast-fingered accordion player was so exhausted after two performances in different counties on the same day — he struck a ditch, crashed his van, destroyed his instruments and his equipment. And his band did not play on, a court was told.

Exhausted ‘Fastest Fingers’ musician crashed his van

Killarney District Court yesterday was told 27-year-old Michael O’Brien was the leading member of a four-person group of musicians, called after himself.

Known on social media as “Fastest Fingers” because of his skill with the traditional accordion, O’Brien of Brarackhill, Castlemaine, Kerry, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at 5am on June 15 last, at Lissivane West, Milltown, near his home. He was alone in the vehicle.

His solicitor Paul O’Donoghue said his client travelled throughout the country.

“He plays the traditional style accordion in a modern style,” Mr O’Donoghue said. On the date in question he had played in Cork in the afternoon, then left the city and headed for Kenmare where he gave a three-and-a-half hour concert.

“He was travelling towards home and he struck the ditch … It was pure tiredness after working hard that day,” Mr O’Donoghue said.

His client had sustained injuries, losing seven weeks’ work; he had damaged amplifiers and instruments and had written off his musician’s van. Some €15,000 worth of equipment had been destroyed, the solicitor said.

Inspector John Brennan, prosecuting, said no one else was involved in the accident, there was no other occupant and it was a single vehicle incident.

Judge James O’Connor asked “did the band play on” and was told they did not.

The judge agreed to allow Mr O’Brien the benefit of the Probation Act which means he will not have a conviction providing he pays €1,000 to the court poor box.

Mr O’Brien has until September to make the payment.

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