Man who led Gardai on 120kph chase in dark banned for four years

A man who led Gardai on a high-speed chase with no lights on reaching speeds of up to 120kph in heavy fog has been put off the road for an initial period of four years.

Ryan McCole, 28, was spotted by Gardai driving with no lights on his car at Bridge Street in Carndonagh just before 9pm on March 20th, 2021.

Garda Shaun Sweeney activated the patrol car’s flashing lights and signalled the driver to pull over to speak with him.

However, the driver took off reaching speeds of 120kph across a number of townlands including Glentogher, Glengannon and Churchlands.

McCole appeared at Carndonagh District Court where he faced a number of dangerous driving charges as well as charges of driving without insurance or having a driving license on the same date.

Garda Sergeant Sean McDaid told Carndonagh District Court that the driving took place on a number of narrow country roads while there was poor visibility because of heavy fog on the night.

McCole, with an address at Drung, Quigley’s Point, continued to drive at speed along a badly-potholed road which was described as “hazardous” by Sergeant McDaid.

Gardai eventually slowed down and stopped the pursuit as they deemed it too dangerous to continue.

From the license plate on the car, Gardai called to the home address of the registered owner which was McCole’s sister Michelle.

She initially denied having any knowledge of the incident but then admitted her brother was driving the car.

The court was told by the man’s solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian, that the accused is a father of two who works as a window blinds intsaller.

On the night in question he was going to the shop to getting something to eat for family members.

Mr Dorrian added that his client did not have insurance or a driving license and realised he was in difficulty when he saw the Gardai.

The court heard that the accused has four previous convictions for no insurance, having no license, drink driving and also dangerous driving for which he was banned for two years.

Judge Eiteain Cunningham said that this was a serious incident and that the accused man was “at risk.”

She said the accused not only put himself at risk, but also the Gardai and other road users saying “but for the grace of God” that the incident was not even more serious.

Judge Cunningham that she was ordering a Probation and Welfare report on the dangerous driving charges.

She found McCole guilty on the no insurance charge, fined him €300 and disqualified him from driving for four years.

She adjourned the remainder of the case until May to allow for the preparation of a Probation and Welfare Report.

Man who led Gardai on 120kph chase in dark banned for four years was last modified: February 20th, 2024 by Staff Writer