West Donegal man jailed just 24 hours after another prison sentence

September 17, 2021

A WEST Donegal man has been jailed for six months – just 24 hours after being given a ten-month sentence for similar motoring offences.

Dillon McCool (21), of Loughanure, Annagry, was given a six-month sentence and banned from driving for eight years at Falcarragh District Court.

On June 26, 2021, Gardaí observed a car approach a T-junction at Magheroarty and recognised the driver as being Dillon McCool of Loughanure, Annagry.

Gardaí stopped the vehicle and demanded the production of documents.

McCool admitted that he had no licence or insurance. Gardaí suspected that the vehicle was dangerously defective. The vehicle was detained and inspected. Numerous faults were detected and deemed as dangerously defective for use on the roads.
Defence solicitor Mr Cormac Hartnett said there was a ‘persistent patten of repetitious behaviour’ from his client.

Mr Hartnett told the court that his client has been working in Dublin for the last four months.

“That has been a chink of light and he has stabilised,” Mr Hartnett said.

“He is a man with cognitive difficulty and that has an affect on day-to-day processing and his judgement. He does not have the filtering that one would normally have for impulsivity and rationalness.

“There is a gap between the realisation and the admitting of the wrongdoing. His judgement is significantly impaired.

“He struggles to function in what might be considered a usual manner.”

Mr Hartnett said that McCool was being ‘nursed’ by his family who ‘have their arm around him’.

The Court heard how McCool had lost his mother, which ‘added to his angst’. McCool’s father was present in court and was with the accused ’every step of the way’.

McCool had 31 previous convictions, including 10 for driving with no insurance.

Judge Sandra Murphy said that the quantity of offences was concerning.

“Not alone in this case, but we are all aware when a defective vehicle is in an accident, it is much more serious,” Judge Murphy said.

“We see that particularly up here with tragic cases in Donegal.”

For a charge of driving without insurance, McCool was given a six-month prison sentence and disqualified for eight years.

For driving a dangerously defective vehicle, McCool was disqualified for one year and fined €250, while for driving without a driving licence he was fined €150.

The disqualifications are to run concurrently.
Recognisance in the event of an appeal was fixed in McCool’s own bond of €250.