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25 Jan 2022

Man to contest dangerous driving charge

Man to contest dangerous driving charge

Court

A man who passed an off duty garda inspector at high speed before allegedly attempting to overtake a vehicle on a bend has tendered a not guilty plea to dangerous driving.

Christopher Donnelly, of 123 Hanslough Road, Middletown, BT63 4JJ, Armagh indicated his willingness to plead guilty to careless driving but not the more serious charge of dangerous driving at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court following an incident on August 0 1 , 2019.

Sgt Paddy McGirl said shortly before 9am, Inspector John Callinan was driving his own private vehicle on the main N55 between Granard and Cavan when he came across the accused. The court was told Inspector Callinan observed the vehicle driven by Mr Donnelly doing speeds of over 160km/hr during the course of which the accused overtook another car on a blind bend.

Also read: Edgeworthstown man pleads guilty to burning rubbish

Upon hearing that evidence, Judge Seamus Hughes asked Mr Donnelly what caused him to cross onto the other side of a busy road and endanger other road users. Mr Donnelly, who was being defended by local solicitor Brid Mimnagh rejected the version of events which had been put before the court, however.

“I fully disagree,” he said, adding the incident took place on a straight stretch of road.

“That never happened.”

Ms Mimnagh also gave further weight to her client’s stance, adding that while Mr Donnelly accepted he was speeding, the alleged manouvre was more careless as opposed to being of a dangerous nature.

Judge Hughes said should the evidence point in favour of the prosecution when it returned before the court next month, Mr Donnelly would be convicted of dangerous driving.

It was also revealed the accused man’s wife was currently expecting their third child. The case was consequently adjourned until April 21 2020 for a full hearing to be heard.

Also read: An Garda Síochána urge caution on the roads this weekend

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