06 Oct 2022

Motorist sentenced to three months imprisonment after Offaly traffic accident

An Offaly man was sentenced to three months imprisonment and disqualified from holding a driving licence for four years, during a recent sitting of Tullamore District Court.

Colin Hanniffy, Leabeg, Tullamore was charged with dangerous driving, drink driving and failing to remain at the scene.

Sgt James O'Sullivan told the court that just outside Boora village on December 29 last, Mr Hanniffy nearly collided with another vehicle, drove into a ditch, got out of his crashed vehicle, got into another vehicle belonging to him which was parked nearby and drove off. The sergeant said the other driver had to swerve out of the way just before the defendant drove into the ditch. “His jeep was driving on the wrong side of the road.”

The sergeant said a Garda car followed Mr Hanniffy's jeep and pulled him over. “The defendant was aggressive towards the Garda. The Garda was told to 'f*** off' and mind his own business. The defendant was arrested and taken to Birr Garda Station where he failed to provide a sample. He spat in the jug.”

Sgt O'Sullivan pointed out that Mr Hanniffy had 17 previous convictions, including one for drink driving and a number of road traffic convictions.

The defending solicitor Donal Farrelly said his client was pleading guilty to the offences and is 32 years of age.

“The root of Mr Hanniffy's problems is his drink problem. He is off the drink now and is attending AA meetings via zoom. He is deeply ashamed of this incident and apologises. He is a carpenter. He is a hard-working man.”

Judge Catherine Staines convicted and sentenced as stated.

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