Drunk man who galloped to get cigarettes on horse and cart fined €250

November 20, 2023

A man who was caught driving his horse and cart to get cigarettes while drunk has been fined €250.

Danny Connors, 49, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal which heard the accused was three and a half times over the drink-driving limit.

The court heard that Connors is currently serving a one year sentence under Animal Health and Welfare Act, 2013 after he left a newborn foal alone at a property with loose dogs to go on a celebratory drinking binge.

The foal was subsequently attacked by two lurcher dogs and suffered severe injuries resulting in all animals being put down.

Danny Connors, aged 49, of Canal Road Letterkenny was today sentenced to 12 months in prison by Judge John Aylmer at the Letterkenny Circuit Court last month.

Father-of-seven Connors, who has 35 previous convictions,  had pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty.

Connors had been ordered to complete a safer driving course after being stopped while drunk in charge of a horse and cart at 8.55am on the morning of June 20, 2021.

Gardai said they observed Connors come up the Port Road on what was described as ‘a horse drawn carriage’.

Sergeant Gerard Dalton told the court that Garda Eoin Nicholson had spoken to Connors twenty minutes previously at his address and noted that he was ‘highly intoxicated’.

Gardai followed Connors, who was observed swaying on the road, Sergeant Dalton said.

Connors refused to stop and continued onto Pearse Road. Connors was also shouting abuse at the time.

When ordered to stop an irate Connors told Gardai “Fuck off, I’m not stopping.”

When eventually stopped, Connors was arrested for an offence contrary to Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act, 2010.

A subsequent test showed that Connors, a 48-year-old with an address at Canal Road, Neil T Blaney Road, Letterkenny had a reading of 177 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The court heard that Connors has ‘a number’ of previous convictions, including for a similar charge in 2018.

Connors also has previous for resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer and a number of road traffic matters.

Solicitor for Connors, Mr Michael Shiel, said his client took the horse and cart, ‘against his better judgement’, to get cigarettes.

“In the cold light of day, he holds his hands up and he apologises for his behaviour,” Mr Shiel said.

“He apologises profusely and assures me that it won’t happen again.”

The case was adjourned to today when Connors appeared by videolink from prison.

Mr Shiel said his client had successfully completed the safer driving course.

Judge Cunningham convicted Connors and fined him €250 in lieu of five days in prison.