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Mechanic was just 'freewheeling' quad

A MECHANIC accused of driving an uninsured quad near his home has been cleared of the offence after his lawyer argued it was in such bad condition that it was not legally a vehicle.

Martin McDonagh (33) insisted he was "freewheeling" the broken-down quad and not driving it when gardai stopped him. He had been given it to use as parts and laughed at the gardai when they stopped him because he thought it was "a joke".

The gardai insisted the bike was moving under its own power and not being pushed.

Judge Eamon O'Brien dismissed a charge of uninsured driving saying he had a "slight doubt" about what had happened.

McDonagh, with an address at Carton Terrace, Ballymun, had denied the charge.

The prosecuting garda told Dublin District Court he saw McDonagh driving the quad at "quite a rate" before mounting the footpath and pushing it into his driveway on June 2 last year.

Defence Barrister Karl Monahan said McDonagh had been given the quad by his brother-in-law and had left it in his front garden while he was working on it.

He had gone inside for a cup of tea when children took it. He was bringing it back when the garda stopped him.

aphelan@herald.ie