A man has been jailed after a garda jeep was rammed by a car at the height of a dangerous driving incident around the north side of Cork city.
The garda jeep was driven in front of a car to prevent further dangerous driving only for the car in question to be reversed and then driven forward at speed ramming the jeep with three officers inside.
Sergeant Eamon Fehin said it was fortunate that the gardaí – Patrick O’Toole, Des Prendergast and David O’Sullivan – were not injured in the ramming.
Sgt. Fehin was giving evidence at Cork District Court in the sentencing hearing for Jimmy Driscoll of 5 Mount St. Joseph’s Close, Bakers Road, Cork. Judge Con O’Leary imposed a sentence of three months on the young man.
Sgt. Fehin said that in the course of trying to get the Volkswagen Passat to stop, Garda Prendergast positioned the garda jeep in front of the car to stop it from moving.
“The Passat was put into reverse and driven at speed into the front of the Garda Audi Q7 jeep. The Passat then overtook the jeep and drove through red traffic lights at speed on to Wolfe Tone Street and tried to undertake a Hyundai 13 on the footpath.
“The Passat tore the inside of the Hyundai and collided with an ESB pole.
“The driver and front seat passenger exited the Passat and fled on foot. Garda O’Sullivan apprehended Jimmy O’Driscoll and Garda O’Toole apprehended the passenger whom he followed into the rear garden of a private house.
“Both were arrested and taken to Gurranabraher garda station,” Sgt. Fehin testified.
Sgt. Fehin gave evidence of a second driving incident involving the same defendant where Driscoll again pleaded guilty, this time to drink driving.
It occurred after midnight on May 18 2019 when gardaí observed his car being driven erratically on Harbour View Road in Knocknaheeny.
Jimmy Driscoll was later seen standing outside this car at the entrance to the Applegreen station shouting at another man. A garda patrol van parked near him.
Sgt. Fehin said Driscoll tried to drive out around the patrol van and when this proved impossible he jumped out of the car and ran towards Hollywood estate, followed by Garda Donal Kelly.
Driscoll pleaded guilty to drink driving and having no licence or insurance on this occasion.
The third incident for which Driscoll was sentenced was described by Inspector Seán McCarthy.
On the afternoon of April 8 2018 the defendant stole a debit card in the changing room for the swimming pool at Ramada Hotel in Blarney. By the time the owner alerted his bank to the stolen card it had tapped at the Applegreen filling station on Harbour View Road to buy cigarettes.
Defence solicitor, Donal Daly, said the defendant had to be removed from Cork Prison in February to Cork University Hospital as a result of seizures. He said that the defendant had a lifelong mental health problem that was only recently diagnosed and for which he was now being treated at the neurology department of CUH.