herald

Friday 17 November 2017

Businessman at 'boozy' PD event rear-ended car

HIT: Driver denied having been at the scene

A BUSINESSMAN rear-ended a vehicle as he was making his way home after a "boozy" fund-raising luncheon for former Justice Minister Michael McDowell, a court heard.

Gerard McCoy (48) had strongly denied that he had been drinking heavily at a Progressive Democrats fundraiser and that he drove away at speed from a car accident in Blackrock as he was making his way home.



Limit

The State claimed that McCoy was afraid he would be over the legal driving limit if the gardai were called to the scene and breathalysed him.

However, he denied he was involved in an accident, or even on Frascati Road where it occurred, saying it was a co-incidence that witnesses provided details of his navy Mercedes E Class car and registration number to gardai.

He also claimed that dents on his front licence plate -- which matched marks on the other vehicle -- were due to "wear and tear".

McCoy was found guilty of careless driving and a number of offences relating to a hit-and-run six years after the incident on March 12, 2004, having taken the case to the High Court to argue legal matters.

Dun Laoghaire District Court heard that McCoy, the managing director of an asset management company, had bought a table at a PD fundraiser in the Berkeley Court Hotel in Ballsbridge and was wining and dining his business associates. The guest speaker at the lunch was the then-Justice Miniser, Michael McDowell.

McCoy, of Taney Road, Dundrum, said he left the hotel around 10.40pm with one of his guests who he was dropping home to Clonskeagh.

He denied he was on Frascati Road at 11.30pm, the time of the accident, saying he was in bed by that stage.

He also claimed he only had two pints of shandy for the night.

The court previously heard the O'Keeffe family were heading home after a night out when a taxi suddenly drove across the path of their Volkswagen Polo.

There were five members in the car, and the driver, Aileen O'Keeffe, was forced to brake, just stopping short of the taxi.

As they were having words with the taxi driver, a navy Mercedes E Class rear-ended their vehicle, reversed and took off at speed up Mount Merrion Avenue.

They took down the car registration number and gave a description of the car and driver to gardai.



Shook

Gardai said they thought McCoy was drunk when they called to his house shortly after the accident, but he claimed he was "shook" as he'd been awoken from his sleep.

Judge John Coughlan said he was satisfied that McCoy crashed into the Polo and left the scene.

The judge fined father-of-two McCoy €1,400 and ordered him to pay €800 in witness expenses.

hnews@herald.ie

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