Saturday 23 February 2019

Uninsured driver took wheel 'because friends were drunk'

Michael Donnelly had ‘learned his lesson’, his solicitor said. Photo: Frank McGrath
Michael Donnelly had ‘learned his lesson’, his solicitor said. Photo: Frank McGrath

An uninsured driver decided to get behind the wheel because his two passengers were too drunk to drive.

Michael Donnelly (24) was worried there would be an accident if either of his pass-engers drove, due to their intoxicated state.

Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Donnelly €100, disqualified him from driving for two years and ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.

The defendant, of Abbeylea Avenue, Swords, admitted before Swords District Court to driving without insurance or a licence.

Gda Shane McGuinn said he stopped Donnelly at Main Street, Swords, shortly after 5pm last June 28.


Gda McGuinn said he asked Donnelly for his insurance and driving licence but he admitted he did not have any documents.

The court heard the defendant had three previous convictions, for minor public order and theft matters.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Donnelly did not have a car and has never had a driving licence.

Ms D'Arcy said the defendant was with two others who were intoxicated and he believed it was too dangerous for them to drive.

She said the defendant, a father-of-one, was unemployed. He had a drug difficulty in the past but had been clean for some time.

Ms D'Arcy said Donnelly made a decision to drive, but he realised his mistake and had "learned his lesson".

She also said Donnelly had no previous road traffic convictions.

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