| 5.5°C Dublin

Driver (37) tried to overtake gardai in 'act of disobedience'

Close

James Carey ran for election to Meath County Council in 2009

James Carey ran for election to Meath County Council in 2009

James Carey ran for election to Meath County Council in 2009

A former local election candidate who drove in a careless manner, failed to stop for gardai and attempted to overtake the patrol car, claimed he did so as "an act of civil disobedience".

James Carey (37) claimed his act arose after he reported abuse issues to gardai but claimed officers were not supporting him.

He was observed by officers in a patrol car driving on the Drogheda to Kilmoon Road and turned left at speed towards Julianstown at around 10pm last February 10.

Gardai activated the blue light but the defendant failed to stop, Garda Kevin Dugale told Drogheda District Court.

"We then managed to bring him to a gradual stop," said Gda Dugale, but added the defendant attempted to overtake the patrol car on the right-hand side and the left-hand side.

"He then tried to reverse away but was prevented from doing so because of other oncoming traffic," added Gda Dugale.

Convictions

The defendant, of Preston Hill, Stamullen, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to careless driving at Newhaggard, Julianstown, Co Meath. He was originally charged with dangerous driving but this was reduced to careless driving by the State.

He has two previous convictions for driving without insurance dating back to 2011 and 2015, two for assault and a theft conviction.

In 2009 the defendant stood as an Independent candidate in the Meath County Council elections in the Slane Electoral Area, polling 734 first preference votes before being eliminated on the seventh count.

Defence barrister Irene Sands said Carey, who is on disability allowance, was asking the court to leave him with his licence.

"His previous no insurance are of some antiquity," said Ms Sands, adding the State was happy to reduce the charge of dangerous driving to careless driving. "He is also apologetic for his actions," said Ms Sands.

"It was an act of civil disobedience," Mr Carey told the court.

"I've been an extremely good citizen for what I did."

Judge Eirinn McKiernan said she hoped he "learned a lesson" and convicted and fined him €250 for careless driving.