Supporting Local News

Juvenile’s driving ban for doing doughnuts in BMW

Gardaí successfully prosecuted a juvenile for two incidents of dangerous driving in the Conamara Gaeltacht.

The teenage boy, who was 16 at the time of the offences in 2021, had denied the charges but was found guilty following a contested hearing at Derrynea District Court.

Judge Ciarán Liddy refused a request by defending solicitor Michael Cunningham to reduce the charges to careless driving to spare the teenager a disqualification.

Judge Liddy imposed two two-year driving disqualifications to run concurrently for dangerous driving offences on September 16, 2021 at Lettermullen and on October 9 at Leitir Mór.

Garda Laura Martyn of Leitir Mór Garda Station prosecuted the case. She gave evidence that in the first incident, members of the public had phoned the station complaining of a blue BMW car doing ‘doughnuts’ and speeding in the Lettermullen area at around 8.15pm.

Garda Martyn drove her patrol car to the area, where she twice encountered a blue car, which had no rear number plate and a front number plate which later transpired was false.

During the second encounter, she met the car head-on down a narrow road. The car started to reverse at speed, reversed into a driveway, and sped away.

In response to Mr Cunningham, she estimated it was reversing at about 80 kilometres per hour; it was “very dangerous and very fast”. Garda Martyn did not pursue the car.

She said that a light was on inside the car, and she could clearly see the face of the driver, who she did not know but later identified as the defendant.

The court heard three members of the public anonymously reported the identity of the driver to her, which she corroborated with photographs on social media such as Facebook and Instagram which matched who she saw that night.

These people did not wish to make statements, she said, and the photographs were not produced in court.

Three weeks later, on October 9 2021, Garda Martyn was off duty travelling through Leitir Mór when she came upon two youngsters ‘doing doughnuts’ on quad bikes on a public road.

They were not wearing helmets, and she could clearly identify them, including the defendant.

Garda Martyn called to the child’s home when she was back on duty and spoke to his mother, who would not allow him to be interviewed.

Under oath, the boy denied driving the BMW and the quad bike.

As well as disqualifying the teenager from driving for two years for each dangerous driving offence, Judge Liddy imposed fines totalling €500.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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