'Stressed' man jailed for driving on wrong side of road at gardai
A garda car was forced to take evasive action after a vehicle was driven towards it at high speed and on the wrong side of the road.
Michael Fay (26) was pursued by gardai along the M1 motorway before he drove through a busy junction and crashed into a kerb.
Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a six-month prison sentence and disqualified him from driving for 10 years.
The defendant, of Castlegrange Heights, Swords, admitted before Swords District Court to driving without insurance or a licence.
He also pleaded guilty to a number of counts of dangerous driving.
Sgt Bob Kavanagh said gardai were on routine vehicle pat- rol in Balrothery, north Co Dublin, when a Nissan Micra came at speed towards them on the wrong side of the road.
Sgt Kavanagh said the car nearly collided with the patrol car, and the garda driver was forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash.
The court heard that Fay drove along the M1 at speed before taking the exit ramp to Swords.
Sgt Kavanagh said that Fay drove well in excess of the speed limit.
He also said the defendant ran a number of red lights, narrowly avoiding an accident, before he crashed into a kerb at Glen Ellan Road, Swords.
The court heard that Fay has a number of convictions, and was previously disqualified from driving for four years in 2014.
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said the defendant, a father-of-one, got in trouble when he was younger, but had not been before the courts in the past three years.
In relation to this incident, Ms D'Arcy said it was "a blowout" after a stressful time involving family matters.
Ms D'Arcy said Fay is currently doing very well and is working part-time in a community centre, which is giving structure to his days.
She asked the judge not to jail him, saying Fay was willing to complete community service.
Ms D'Arcy also said that Fay enjoys the support of his family.
Judge Dempsey imposed the six-month sentence, saying he did not believe community service was suitable.