February 16, 2011

GARDAI were forced to abandon a checkpoint in Convoy after two boy racers drove past them doing a staggering 112mph.

The two young men, both driving Honda Civic cars, were only caught by Gardai when they pulled in at a petrol station some time later.

Garda Marcus O’Dowd revealed how he had reached speeds of up to 180kph trying to catch the speeding pair but could not do so.

One of the men, Ainsley Quigley of Dunkineely, appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court to appeal his sentence after being jailed for two months at the local district court.

The court heard how Quigley, then just 19, had only got the car insured a week before reaching the horrific speeds on April 8th of last year.

Quigley, who had been working in a fish factory, had paid €2,500 for the car and another €2,500 to have it insured.

Garda O’Dowd told the court “I had to pull the patrol car off the road when I saw them coming.”

When he finally caught Quigley his car had no tax, no NCT, its front left tyre was bald and it had low-fitted suspension.

He also revealed that Quigley had an 18 year old female passenger in the car at Lisnaree, Convoy and the other car had two female passengers in it.

Quigley, who is now studying computer gaming in Cavan, said he realises now how stupid he was.

“It is a very serious issue. It was very stupid of me and only afterwards I realised it was an act of stupidity. I would like to apologise to the court for what I have done. I’m kind of scare of driving now and I wouldn’t go near 60mph. I always take bus to college,” he said.

Outraged Judge John O’Hagan said he was appalled by Quigley’s driving and by all boy racers who people read about in Co Donegal.

“This is a most serious case. The reason why is because it is something we read about in Donegal frequently. We read about boy racers. Does he come in to that category – he certainly does.

“Think about it. 110 miles per hour with a young girl in the passenger seat and driving like a bat out of hell. It doesn’t bear thinking about if it had gone out of control – a young boy who had just got license.

“What am I do to do disuade people in Donegal from driving like this? There are lots of others out there as well. The Gardai have to put themselves at risk to try and catch you.

“It is well known in county that young men contact eachother to challenge eachother to races and they make sure Gardai are not around. You didn’t do that but that’s the kind of thing that goes on,” he told Quigley.

The Judge said that people might think he is soft but he did not plan to send Quigley to jail because he thinks he will turn his life around and will not take part in such reckless driving again.

He fined him the maximum fine of €5,000 and banned him from driving for two years and warned him that he will be sent to prison for six months if he comes before the court on driving offences in that time.

“Maybe I am soft but it’s up to you now,” added Judge O’Hagan.



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