Former Garda asked for “a chance’ when stopped in drink-driving case

November 15, 2018

A former Garda asked a serving member to “give him a chance” after he was stopped and eventually charged with drunken driving.

Seamus McBride, aged 54, was stopped by Garda Sgt Sean McDaid on the weekend of the Donegal International Rally on June 17th last year.

Mr McBride, who now lives in Lockhart Avenue in Milton Keyes, England, was spotted by Sgt McDaid speeding in the overtaking lane at the Mountain Top in Letterkenny.

Sgt McDaid said at 7.47pm he spotted McBride driving excessively coming towards Letterkenny and followed him on his bike.

He pulled up beside him and signalled him to pull over to the left but McBride continued to look straight ahead.

A short time later he again signalled him to pull over and this time McBride pulled over into the Thornberry housing estate.

Sgt McDaid said that when McBride got out of his Saab car there was a smell of drink coming from him, he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred.

The arresting Garda said they chatted and they had a mutual friend.

Evidence was given that McBride asked Sgt McDaid to give him a chance.

Sgt McDaid replied “I said to him ‘It’s my job and I have to do it”

McBride was arrested and a breath sample taken at Letterkenny Garda station showed a reading of 70 microgrammes of breath per 100 microgrammes of alcohol.

Solicitor for McBride, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said there had been no valid reason why his client was stopped before he was not speeding or travelling above the speed limit.

Mr Gallagher had earlier noted that prosecuting Garda Inspector Michael Harrison had served alongside McBride and they knew eachother.

Inspector Harrison said he was happy to step aside but Judge Paul Kelly said that would not be necessary.

Judge Kelly said there was sufficient grounds on which Sgt McDaid was entitled to stop McBride.

Finding him guilty, Judge Kelly fined McBride €400 and disqualified from driving for three years.