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29 May 2022

Longford man who collided with house while intoxicated put off road for two years

Longford man who collided with house while intoxicated put off road for two years

A man has been fined and disqualified from driving following a lengthy drink driving hearing which took place at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.

The court heard that, on September 27, 2020, a vehicle, allegedly driven by Jake O’Shea, Stonepark, Co Longford, collided with a house in Aghnageeragh, Edgeworthstown.

The court heard that John Keena, a resident of the house, was preparing for bed when he heard a loud bang shortly after midnight on September 27.

“I was alarmed for a minute and didn’t know what was happening. I went to go out the front door and it was jammed and hard to get open,” he explained.

“I saw the car outside at the wall of the house. I approached with caution. I opened the door and a young gentleman was in the front seat. He seemed to be dazed so I asked him was he okay and did he need an ambulance. He said no, he was okay and he apologised.

“I brought him into my own room to let him relax a few minutes. He couldn’t find his phone to ring his parents so I gave him the phone.

“We just talked and I said about the house being badly damaged. We decided the guards would have to be called and he got a little bit upset, obviously, but he was calm enough after that.”

The damage to the house came to approximately €24,000, the court heard, with structural damage. Everything in the bathroom had to be replaced. But Mr O’Shea’s insurance covered the cost.

“He was very apologetic and said he was so sorry and I felt sorry for him. He was just dazed and his ankle was sore, but he didn’t strike me as drunk,” said Mr Keena.

He confirmed there was significant damage done to the car Mr O’Shea had been driving and that the accused and his father had come to take the car away the following day.

Gda Adrian Dockery gave evidence that he was on call that night in the Edgeworthstown patrol car.

“I got a call at ten to one in the morning to attend a single-vehicle collision at Aghnageeragh, Edgeworthstown,” he said.

On arrival, Gda Dockery observed the vehicle which he said had apparently collided with the gable wall of the residence. When he inquired as to where the driver or occupants of the vehicle were, a young man made himself known to Gda Dockery.

“I spoke briefly with Mr O’Shea and he appeared to me to be slurring his worlds and he was unsteady as he walked across the kitchen to speak with me,” said Gda Dockery.

Gda Dockery formed the opinion that Mr O’Shea was drunk and, at 1:14am, arrested him under section 4 (8) of the Road Traffic Act 2010 and conveyed him to Longford Garda Station.

Mr O’Shea was introduced to Gda Mark Higgins who took two breath samples which returned a reading of 56mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is over the legal limit.

Judge Bernadette Owens heard that Mr O’Shea is training to be a plasterer. He has a degree in Agricultural Science and helps out on his Grandfather’s farm.

He came before the court with one previous conviction for no insurance in Galway in 2019, while he was a student, for which he was fined €250.

Judge Owens proceeded to convict Mr O’Shea, fining him €300 and disqualifying him for two years.

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