A Dublin motorist who crashed an Audi car over the side of a skew bridge in Cork on to railway tracks below later said to a garda: “You know I am drunk — I am langers.”
In an unsuccessful appeal against his conviction for dangerous driving and drink driving, he said this was a Cork expression and that as a Dubliner, he never used the word “langers”.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan said that he found as a fact the evidence given by Garda Paul Hooley and affirmed the orders of the district court at Cork Circuit Appeals Court today.
The appellant, Brian Connell, aged 39, of 29 Upper Kensington, Rochestown, Cork, will be disqualified from driving for four years, commencing on October 1. The fines of €500 on each charge were also affirmed.
Connell said he was the driver but as for there being a smell of alcohol from him, he said: “100% not. I was not drinking alcohol. There was no alcohol taken.”
Garda Paul Hooley said the defendant said on the night: “I am langers.”
Connell said he was from Dublin and that this was a Cork expression. “I don’t use the word ‘langers’.”
Explaining how the crash happened, he told Patrick O’Riordan, defending, “I was probably driving quick. The bend came on me. I pulled the brakes.”
Frank Nyhan, prosecuting, asked the accused how he could not have known the skew bridge given that it had very large warning signs and he had been living in Cork for nine years before the accident. The appellant, who runs a business at Little Island, said he did not know the skew bridge at that time.
Connell said he and his friend went for something to eat on the night but every place was closed due to Storm Ophelia and they ended up in the Secrets club from 9.30pm/10pm until shortly before the incident at 12.30am.
Mr Nyhan said: “And you had no drink in two-and-a-half hours?”
Connell replied: “It is a gentleman’s club.”
Gardaí Paul Hooley and Mark O’Connor went to the scene of the incident after midnight on October 17, 2017.
Garda Hooley testified that Storm Ophelia was hitting the country and that there had been a red warning throughout the country.
They went to investigate the incident that occurred at the skew bridge on Lower Glanmire Road where four or five units of the fire brigade responded after a black Audi car crashed over a wall on the skew bridge and on to the railway tracks below.
Connell told Garda Hooley he and his friend were at Secrets where they met a third man, whom he could not identify, who he said crashed the car on to the tracks and left the scene.
Garda Hooley said Connell got agitated and said, “Stop asking me questions.”
Connell later admitted that he was the driver at the relevant time. Garda Hooley was present when the motorist was taken to Cork University Hospital for attention that night.
Garda Hooley said: “I got a very strong smell of alcohol. He became aggressive. He said, ‘You know I am drunk, I am langers.’”
Dr Mehboob Kukaswadia testified that he was present and heard the man saying he had drink taken.
Garda Mark O’Connor said it would have taken speed greater than the 60km/h limit to crash over the kerb, and over the barrier wall down 25ft on to the railway tracks below.