A 21 year old man who denied he was at the reins when a horse and car were pulled in by a Garda on a narrow road in Dundalk, has claimed at the local district court that the officer told him 'It isn't the 1970s anymore'
Joe Duffy with an address at Crossan Road, Mayobridge, Newry Co. Down was charged with wilfully or recklessly permitting a horse to pose a danger to other road users and property, at Mount Avenue, Dundalk on February 22nd last year.
A garda told the court she had been flagged down on the Castletown Road by a passer-by at 4.20pm and made her way to Mount Avenue where she came upon a horse and cart which she said was 'travelling much too fast' on the public road, which she said is very narrow with bad bends.
She said she had tried unsuccessfully to signal to those on board to stop and had no choice but to activate the siren.
The witness said Joe Duffy had his hands on the reins and after he pulled over he became belligerent and gave several names and dates of birth.
She said the 21 year old apologised at the station for the public order offences and a decision was made to prosecute him under the Control of Horses Act.
When it was put to her during cross examination, that another man was at the reins, the garda insisted that Joe Duffy was "at all times" and when the Defence barrister said his client was 'quite pedantic' over the beeping of the horn, the guard said she had to get the driver to pull over as she was concerned about other road users.
A Defence witness told the court that he had been in control of the horse at the time. He said it owned it for two years and the defendant was sitting beside him and got out and held the horse by the head after they pulled in.
Joe Duffy said they were walking the horse back and he had been checking behind for other traffic. He claimed the guard didn't ask who owned the horse and cart.
He admitted getting into a row with the guard who he claimed had said "It wasn't the 1970s any more" . He said he had told her Irish roads were made for horse and carts and added "I think the guard was completely out of her uniform in the way she was speaking".
Judge Eirinn McKiernan said "I have a doubt in my mind" and dismissed the case.
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