July 15, 2013
Gallagher leaving court after getting bail for an appeal against his prison sentence

Gallagher leaving court after getting bail for an appeal against his prison sentence

A CONVICTED drink driver has been jailed for six months after dangerous driving and refusing to provide a specimen.

Sean Gallagher, 44, from Cabra, Churchill, led Gardai on an 18km chase across County Donegal on April 1 this year, Letterkenny District Court heard.

Inspector David Kelly said Gallagher sped off in his jeep when he was approached by a garda patrol in the car park outside the Rock Bar, Newmills. It was 2.05am.

Inspector Kelly said Gallagher spun his wheels and drove off.

What followed was a “15 minute frenzy of dangerous driving” on narrow country roads around Churchill.

On several occasions on the 18km route, Gallagher attempted to block the Garda car before finally giving himself up.

Gallagher was arrested but was abusive to gardai, telling Garda Paul McGee on several occasions that he would get him.

“I know where you live. This is not the end of this,” Gallagher had threatened.

When told refusal to provide a specimen could lead to a fine or imprisonment or both, Gallagher responded: “I’ve a good bicycle and I don’t have far to go for a drink.”

He also said: “You can’t take knickers from a bare arse.”

Inspector Kelly said Gallagher had four previous convictions and was still banned from driving for a previous drink-driving offence.

Solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client wished to apologise to gardai.

Judge Kelly said: “This offence took place whilst Gallagher was banned from driving; there was some appalling driving over a distance of 18kms with attempts made to prevent the garda car from overtaking.”

He jailed Gallagher for a total of 10 months – six months and four months consecutively – and fined him €500 and banned him from driving for a total of nine years.

Gallagher, who is unemployed and lives with his mother, was later freed after lodging €500 and an independent surety of €1,000 pending an appeal.