Driving ban for man who led Gardaí on 120km/h pursuit in Ballybofey

July 5, 2021

A MAN who led Gardaí on a 120km/h chase around Ballybofey has been disqualified from driving.

Ronan McHugh (24) with an address at Third Corgary Road, Castlederg, was before Letterkenny District Court on three charges of dangerous driving on May 15, 2021.

At 12am, Gardaí were concerned about the acticity of the occupants of a Toyota Hilux, which was parked on the forecourt of a service station at Donegal Road, Ballybofey.

Detective Garda Connaughton and Garda Hennigan returned to check on the occupants.

When Gardaí activated the blue lights, the Hilux, being driven by McHugh, took off at speed.

Sergeant Jim Collins said that McHugh pulled across a road at a speed at 120km/h in a 50km/h zone.

Sgt Collins told the Court that McHugh almost lost control training onto Trusk Road, where he was traveling at speeds of between 100-120km/h, again in a 50km/h zone.

At Sessiaghoneill, McHugh almost lost control when driving at a similar speed in an area governed by a 60km/h speed limit.

After being stopped and arrested, Sgt Collins said McHugh was fully co-operative.

The court heard that McHugh has a previous conviction for driving without insurance.

Defence solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said his client was a single man who had found employment recently driving machinery.

“He fully accepts that his conduct was wrong, inappropriate and immature,” Mr Gallagher said.

Judge Sandra Murphy asked why McHugh was attempting to evade Gardaí.

Mr Gallagher said his client had taken a drink and thought he was over the limit, but his reading was ‘well under’.

“It was a very stupid, costly mistake to make,” Mr Gallagher said.

“It falls squarely within the definition of dangerous driving,” Judge Murphy said.

McHugh was disqualified for two years and fined €250.