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19 Jan 2022

Dundalk court: Dangerous driving accused thought gardai were following someone else

Dundalk court: Dangerous driving accused thought gardai were following someone else

Dundalk courthouse

A 23-year-old man drove around the roundabout outside the local Garda station while being pursued by gardai, before he drove off towards the border, told Dundalk district court last week that he had thought they were following someone else – and he was in their way.

Mark McMahon with an address at Maghernakill, Castleblayney was before the court charged with two counts of dangerous driving on the R178 – at the Demesne, and Manorhamilton, Dundalk on December ninth 2019.

The court heard last Wednesday that gardai saw the defendant’s car cross the central median line several times on the Ecco Road.

He did not stop for the patrol car and turned left at the Carrick Road junction before driving around the roundabout at The Crescent and exiting it the way he came in. At the entrance to Lis Na Dara he overtook in a dangerous manner.

Gardai made a decision to stop the pursuit in the interest of public safety and the defendant continued towards the border.

Judge Eirinn McKiernan, who was told the defendant had no previous convictions and was offering a guilty plea to the lesser charge of careless driving, said “there was nothing remotely careless” about the manner of driving outlined to the court in evidence.

The Defence barrister said her client had panicked, but the judge replied he overtook a vehicle dangerously and the guards were following him.

The barrister stressed that her client had no previous history of any bad judgment on the road.
He presented himself at the garda station the next morning and added if he loses his driving licence, he will lose his employment.

Mr McMahon told the court: “I was never stopped by the guards before. I just panicked. I thought they were following someone else and I got in the way”.

The barrister urged Judge McKiernan to give her client the opportunity to complete a “Pro Social” driving course and the case was put back to February second.

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