West Donegal man, 21, jailed for serious motoring offences

September 15, 2021

A young Loughanure man who was jailed for ten months for motoring offences was described as a danger “to the safety of the people of Donegal.”

Inspector Seamus McGonigle said the State had grave concerns about Dillan McCool (21) Loughanure, Annagry being released on the roads of the county.

Dungloe District Court was told that McCool had seven previous convictions for no insurance, six for no licence, three for dangerous driving, five for Unauthorised Taking, one for burglary, one for criminal damage and one for drink driving.

Judge Sandra Murphy said he was a man who “had no regard for the insurance laws of this country, none”.

She added “We have to protect the general public as well”.

Judge Murphy jailed the defendant for four months after he pleaded guilty to driving with no insurance at Loughanure on March 25.

She gave the defendant a consecutive six- months sentence for an identical offence on April 1 in Cronashallog Dungloe.

The judge fined the defendant a total of €500 for driving with no licence at both locations and banned him from driving for eight years.

The court heard the defendant was banned from driving when apprehended driving a Massey Ferguson tractor on both occasions.

Defence solicitor Robert Ryan told the court earlier that his client had ADHD had cognitive and behavioural issues and a psychiatric report was in court.

His supportive family were in court.

The defendant’s mother had died a year ago and that had a major effect on him
He had a degree of “impulsivity” that was not normal.

The defendant also had a childlike innocence and generally admitted his offences.

He was working in Dublin and was a good worker.
Mr Ryan said the defendant had 7-8 previous convictions and they were being appealed to the circuit court in October.

Judge Murphy initially suggested that it might be sensible to adjourn the matters before the court until after the outcome of the other appeals to the circuit court.

Inspector Seamus McGonigle said the appeals were against severity only.

The Inspector said the State had been told the defendant would be pleading guilty and would not be appealing to the circuit court.

Defence solicitor Robert Ryan said they had been given a change in instructions.
Judge Murphy said this was frustrating and unfair on the State.

She added that the defendant must know that “you do not drive on the road with no insurance”.

The judge noted that the State had “genuine concerns”.

Inspector McGonigle said he acknowledged the defendant’s difficulties and family’s great concern and efforts on his behalf but added that he was concerned about the number of no insurance convictions and the Unauthorised Taking matters.

The Inspector said “It is a concern for the safety of the people of Donegal”.

Judge Murphy said she had great sympathy for the defendant, but this was black and white, and he was a man who had “no regard for the insurance laws of this country, none”.

Mr Ryan said his client was not a “tearaway teenager” but had “intellectual difficulties”.

The judge said if the defendant persisted “he is going to have a very difficult future”.

“We have to protect the general public as well”.