Garda posed as boy-racer to nab 'dangerous' drivers
An undercover garda who posed as a boy-racer at a car rally has told if one of the cars performing doughnuts spun out of control, "it would have resulted in carnage".
At Ennis District Court last night, Det Garda Barry Walsh said that the cruise, organised through Facebook, involved 70 cars and gathered on Lahinch prom in Co Clare on March 7 last.
Before the court were seven participants in the rally. Judge Patrick Durcan banned all seven from driving for six months and fined each of them €750.
Det Walsh said that the event was organised by the 'North Clare Cruisers and DIFFS' and the cruise took place near the Cliffs of Moher, and at Lahinch, Doolin, Corkscrewhill and Lisdoonvarna on March 7 and 8 last.
Judge Durcan said the online networking site Facebook had been used in this instance "for the worst possible purpose".
In total, the seven individuals pleaded guilty to offences in connection with the rally.
They were: Wayne Danaher, of Snipe Lodge, Knockagulla, Lisdoonvarna; Jennifer Cannavan (20), of Derrymore, Lahinch; Shaun Larkin (27), of Inis Carraig, Ennis; Sean Keane (19), of Ballyhannon, Quin; Rory Downes (21), of Clonakilla, Kilmilhil; Gabriel Weck (20), of Bealcragga, Connolly; and Kevin Baker (18), of Finntra, Miltown Malbay.
Mr Danaher and Ms Canavan pleaded guilty to public order offences in connection with the rally with the other five pleading guilty to careless driving.
The judge said that the events outlined on the night were "horrendous".
He said: "What was organised was an illegal and dangerous event."
Judge Durcan said that he accepted that the seven accused were hard-working, educated people from good-backgrounds and all had no previous convictions.
However, he accused the seven of being "daft, selfish and showing a complete disregard for others in organising the rally".
On the night, Det Walsh was driving a Honda Civic and dressed in plain clothes.
He said in one incident, a boy-racer performed doughnuts - spinning the car's wheels so that it drifts in a circle - around rally organiser Wayne Danaher at the entrance to the Cliffs of Moher.
Det Walsh said that it was extremely dangerous as there were 150 to 200 people looking on and that "if the car spun out of control, it would have resulted in carnage".
On the way to Lisdoonvarna, Det Walsh said he observed one car overtaking 10 to 12 cars.
Appeals are to lodged in all cases.