A MAN detected driving at 167km/h was among a number of defendants brought before court in Donegal this week charged with motoring offences over a weekend in June.
Several cases were before Judge Sandra Murphy at Letterkenny District Court relating to incidents on the weekend of June 19-21.
Nathan Dobbins (18) of Blackthorn Manor, Derry, was detected driving at 167km/h at Drumbarnett, Newtowncunningham at 1.22am on June 19.
Garda Gallagher was in the patrol van when he detected a white Mercedes traveling at excessive speed.
Dobbins was subsequently stopped and arrested.
Solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said the car was owned by Dobbins’ mother, ‘which has its own repercussion in terms of driving’.
“He and a number of friends were coming back from observing a ‘diffing’ competition on the non-rally weekend, the blue mist came on and this carry-on happened,” Mr Gallagher said.
Judge Murphy said the speed was ‘beyond excessive’.
She directed that Dobbins undertake the Pro Social Driving Course and that he pay €250 for costs of the course.
The case was adjourned to October 4, 2021, to allow Dobbins complete the course.
Conor Brett, with an address at Mullinahone, Tipperary, was charged after drifting the rear of a vehicle, a Nissan Silva, at 6.45pm on June 21 outside a petrol station at Derry Road, Letterkenny.
Sgt Jim Collins said Brett was ‘apologetic and very co-operative’ when arrested.
Solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said his client was a 33-year-old man who worked on the family farm.
“He should have known better,” Mr Gallagher said.
Judge Sandra Murphy reduced a dangerous driving charge to one of careless driving and fined Brett €250.
Shay O’Hagan (24) of Dankley, Armagh, was charged in connection with an incident on June 19 at Raymoghey, Manorcunningham.
Sgt Collins told the court that Gardaí observed a silver Lexus drive from a side road onto the N13, the main Letterkenny-Derry road, and perform a fishtail movement.
Mr Patsy Gallagher, representing O’Hagan, said his client traveled to Letterkenny with a number of friends from Armagh.
“He is quite embarrassed and fully apologetic,” Mr Gallagher said. “He fully accepts what he did was wrong. It was his own bravado and showing off.”
Judge Murphy reduced a dangerous driving charge to one of careless driving, fined O’Hagan €250 and did not impose a disqualification.
Dylan Ward (20), with an address in Athlone, County Westmeath, was observed ‘diffing’ a car, a VW Golf, in front of a large crowd of people at a filling station at Derry Road, Letterkenny at 11pm on June 19, 2021.
Ward was observed performing the manoeuvre with another man standing stationary at the car.
Solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said he client ‘fell into a trap’.
“More experienced people were egging him on,” Mr Gallagher said. “He accepts that this was totally inappropriate. It went to his head, he started spinning the car around.”
He said Ward, a mechanical engineering student at IT Sligo, used the car each day for work and college.
Judge Murphy reduced the charge of dangerous driving to one of careless driving, fined Ward €250 and did not impose a disqualification.
Jonathan Shiels (32) of Shantallow, Derry, was charged in connection with an incident at Churchlands, Manorcunningham at 7.33pm on June 20, 2021.
A blue Lexis iS 200 was observed performing a fishtailing movement after pulling out from a side road onto the N13.
Solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said his client was a 34-year-old father-of-one.
“Three cars pulled out and his two compatriots were dealt with before Judge Mitchell,” Mr Gallagher said.
Judge Murphy reduced a charge of careless driving to one of dangerous driving, fined Shiels €250 and did not impose a disqualification.