March 10, 2014
Emergency personnel at the scene of last Wednesday's crash in Letterkenny.

Emergency personnel at the scene of last Wednesday’s crash in Letterkenny.

BREAKING NEWS: A suspect in a 60km Garda chase across County Donegal is on the run tonight.

Martin Stokes, who is 20 and from Cornshell Fields in Derry City, was arrested by a Garda traffic corps officer in Letterkenny last Wednesday following a day of drama across the county.

Gardaí from Glenties had pursued a Nissan Primera car from Ardara along a 60km route – via both main and side roads – before the chase came to an end in Letterkenny when the car crashed into another vehicle just outside the town’s fire station.

Stokes was granted bail in Sligo District Court last Thursday, but was sent to prison for a week in relation to a previous case.

However he was released on Saturday – and has skipped bail.

This evening in Letterkenny Judge Paul Kelly issued a warrant for his immediate arrest after Stokes failed to appear at a sitting of the District Court.

Stokes solicitor Patsy Gallagher said he had been told his client had been released from prison on Saturday, two days into a seven day sentence.

Last Thursday’s court heard Stokes faced a total of 25 dangerous driving charges.

The court heard from Garda Elaine Kavanagh, from Glenties Garda Station, that Stokes was also facing 11 other charges in connection with the alleged incident including failing to stop for members of An Garda Siochana and hit-and-run allegations relating to the De Valera Road crash.

Traffic Corps Garda Paul McGee gave evidence of arresting Stokes in Letterkenny not long afterwards. Stokes was wearing just one shoe at the time.

Judge Kevin Kilrane had set bail at €1,000 with an independent surety of €1,000 which had been met last Saturday and Stokes was released from prison.