*The Garda chase took place in March 2022.
A JUDGE has imposed an eight year driving ban on a 22 year old apprentice carpenter after he made “the very worst choice possible” leading to a 30 minute Garda car chase in west Clare.
At Kilrush District Court, Judge Mary Larkin imposed the eight year driving ban on Eoin Enright of The Odyssey, Ballykett, Kilrush for dangerous driving on March 16th last year.
Judge Larkin said that Mr Enright “made the very worst choice anyone could make on the night in question” when failing to stop his red Toyota Corolla car after Garda Niall Donegan had activated his patrol car’s blue lights.
Judge Larkin also imposed cumulative fines of €800 for the various driving offences.
Judge Larkin said that it was “very lucky” that Mr Enright or anyone else did not suffer serious injury on the night.
The 30 minute night-time pursuit from Henry Street, Kilrush continued until Moyasta where Mr Enright’s car crashed into a tree outside a pub.
After Sgt Aiden Lonergan went through the counts of dangerous driving and ten counts of careless driving at the outset of the case, Judge Larkin commented, “There is enough there now to put him off the road for the rest of his life – or send him to jail”.
In evidence, Garda Donegan said that here were five incidents in particular during the late night 30 minute pursuit where Mr Enright’s car avoided very near serious collisions.
Garda Donegan said that he had earlier activated his patrol car blue lights but this was ignored by Mr Enright.
Asked why he didn’t stop by Judge Larkin, Mr Enight said, “I panicked and went out of control. And I got to a stage when I didn’t know what to do and I just continued”.
Garda Donegan said that Mr Enright has no previous convictions.
In sentencing, Judge Larkin said that she had to bear in mind that Mr Enright has not been in trouble before.
Judge Larkin said that Mr Enright is gainfully employed and working his way through an apprenticeship.
Solicitor for Mr Enright, Colum Doherty said that Mr Enright should have stopped and could have stopped when the blue lights were activated.