A Clonmel man who engaged in sulky racing on a road in the dark while under the influence of an intoxicant, received a three months suspended sentence and fines totalling €1500 at Carrick-on-Suir District Court's latest sitting.
Judge Terence Finn said Thomas O'Reilly of Cahir Road, Clonmel displayed a "gross disrespect and disregard" for other road users as he imposed these penalties on him for the offences he committed at Turkstown, Fiddown, Co. Kilkenny on December 2 last year.
He suspended the prison sentence on condition O'Reilly entered into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two years and didn't engage in sulky racing, trotting or exercising horses on the public highway.
O'Reilly pleaded guilty at the court to driving a horse and sulky trap while under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent he was incapable of controlling it; dangerous driving, engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour and obstructing Gda. Mark Keane.
Gda. John Downey told the court that gardai received a call about sulky racing at Turkstown, Fiddown at 6.40pm on December 2 last year.
When Gda. Keane arrived at the scene, je encounterd O'Reilly on the sulky. It was dark and there was no lighting on the sulky trap.
The garda attempted to stop the racing and as he did so the rear of the patrol car was hit by O'Reilly's sulky trap. O'Reilly fell off the sulky and the garda followed him. There was a strong smell of alcohol and his speech was slurred. Gda Keane called for assistance as he was on his own. A struggle took place and O'Reilly escaped but was arrested a short time later.
Gda. Downey outlined that O'Reilly had 10 previous convictions but none for road traffic offences.
Defence solicitor Eamonn Hayes said his client instructed him to apologise for this incident and his behaviour towards the garda. He was a married man with school going children. The family were dependent on social welfare.
Judge Finn agreed to Mr Hayes' request to fix recognisance in the event of appeal.