John O’Shea, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Tarmons, Waterville, on July 25, 2014.
O’Shea’s solicitor John O’Dwyer, son of the football legend Mick O’Dwyer, reminded the court in Cahersiveen that “football had been his [client’s] downfall on the day”.
He went to Waterville for animal feed for his cows and ended up talking about Kerry’s performance in the Munster Final, forgetting to eat and drinking too much before hitting the ditch on the way home in what was a single-vehicle accident.
O’Shea’s blood-alcohol reading was 198mg, nearly four times the legal limit, and the offence carried a three-year penalty, the court was told.
O’Shea lives in an isolated valley around 10km from Waterville and would be at a severe disadvantage if put off the road immediately, Mr O’Dwyer pleaded yesterday.
He is 60 and had never married.
“Are you going to stay single or are will you to take the plunge?” Judge O’Connor asked O’Shea.
Mr O’Dwyer noted that, without transport, his client would be at a great disadvantage in that area.
“You’d never know now with Star Wars!” Judge O’Connor suggested in reference to the increased visitor numbers to south Kerry after the filming of the sci-fi epic on Skellig Michael.
“He’s living alone and his relatives are residing in Cork,” the solicitor added.
Judge O’Connor asked whether he had “good neighbours” and O’Shea said they were “alright”.
Mr O’Dwyer asked if his client could not be put off the road until after the summer. Being off the road, he would find it very difficult to continue with the cows and he would have to make arrangements to get rid of them.
“Or find himself a nice woman!” the judge added.
If the extension went beyond September it would allow him to go to Lisdoonvarna, Mr O’Dwyer agreed.
Judge O’Connor said it was not the purpose of the State to “nail” people in terms of undoing their livelihood and he granted the general adjournment to December 8. It is expected that Mr O’Shea will be convicted on that date and disqualified for three years.