A speeding motorcyclist reached speeds of 210km/h in a high-speed chase involving a Garda patrol car on a motorway last year.
At Ennis District Court today, Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a suspended eight-month prison term on Brendan Nagle (36) and banned him from driving for two years after convicted him of two dangerous driving offences on the date.
Judge Durcan also imposed a fine of €1,500 on Mr Nagle of Clondrinagh, Lissycasey and said that the 210km/h speed his Yamaha motorcycle reached on June 14th last on the main Limerick to Galway motorway “frightens me”.
“This is one of the worst cases of dangerous driving I have come across in my time as a judge and the level of speed in this case is totally unacceptable. I have a complete abhorrence of Mr Nagle’s driving on the day," the judge said.
Arrogance and stupidity
He told the court that Mr Nagle’s irresponsibility had “endangered Garda Michael Daniels when he was forced to pursue Mr Nagle from the slow lane and drive at least 210km/h to keep up with Mr Nagle”.
Judge Durcan stated that Mr Nagle had displayed “arrogance and stupidity and a combination of both”.
Sgt Aiden Lonergan stated that Garda Daniels first spotted Mr Nagle doing a speed of 140km/h at Drumline, Newmarket on Fergus on the M18 motorway at 1.15pm on June 14th and gave chase with the blue lights flashing and sirens sounding.
Sgt Lonergan said Mr Nagle then reached speeds of 210km/h on the motorway before coming off the motorway at Ennis and “did full loops of a roundabout to make good his escape”.
Gardaí erected a check-point at Beechpark, Ennis and the court heard that Mr Nagle somehow got his motorbike through “a four-foot gap” and drove down a link road on the wrong side on the hard shoulder.
Mr Nagle brought his motorcycle to a stop and Sgt Lonergan stated that Mr Nagle told Garda Daniels that he didn’t stop earlier as “he had got a fright”.
In suspending the prison term, Judge Durcan took into account Mr Nagle’s “impeccable character”, no previous convictions and his early plea of guilt to the two dangerous driving offences.
Solicitor for Mr Nagle, Patrick Moylan said that a driving ban could have a major impact on his client’s livelihood as he drives a waste collection truck for a living. Mr Moylan said that Mr Nagle has not been in trouble before or since the speeding incident.
Mr Moylan stated that nothing can justify Mr Nagle’s behaviour, but he was under stress due to Covid-19 and the breakdown of a relationship with his girl-friend.
On request from Mr Moylan, Judge Durcan deferred the driving ban to October 1st and set recognisance in the event of an appeal.