*The drink driving offences occurred in November 2022. 

A 55-year old South-East Clare woman has received two separate driving bans adding to a cumulative nine years after being detected drink driving at two separate locations in Shannon within a four hour period on the same night, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Adrian Harris imposed a three year driving ban on Margaret Foley for her first drink driving offence at Aidan Park, Shannon just after 7pm on November 28th 2022.

Judge Harris imposed a separate six year driving ban on Ms Foley of Portdrine, Cratloe after she was again detected to be drink-driving the same 182 D registered car less than four hours later at 10.44pm at a different location in Shannon.

The second incident followed Ms Foley’s release from custody at Ennis Garda Station for the earlier drink driving offence on the same evening.

On each occasion, the same Garda, Garda Brian Jackman of Shannon Garda Station arrested Ms Foley on suspicion of drink driving.

Ms Foley will not serve a nine year driving ban as the driving bans are concurrent and will serve a six year driving ban.

Solicitor for Ms Foley, John Casey told the court that his client is “totally embarrassed” over the night’s events and said that Ms Foley has never been in court before.

Mr Casey said, “She hasn’t had a drink since”. Mr Casey said, “Ms Foley would have had difficulties at the time and has taken steps that this does not re-occur”.

Mr Casey said that his client was pleading guilty to the two drink driving offences, which removed the need for Garda Jackman to give evidence or be present in court for the case.

Giving an outline of the facts, Sgt John Burke told Judge Harris that just after 7pm on November 28th 2022, Garda Jackman stopped Margaret Foley who was driving her car at Aidan Park at Shannon and arrested the woman on suspicion of drink driving.

Ms Foley was brought to Ennis Garda Station and Sgt Burke stated that a test carried out found that Ms Foley was over the limit with 272 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Ms Foley then got a taxi back to Shannon and was still over the alcohol limit for driving when she got back into her car to drive home.

At 10.44pm, Garda Jackman again stopped Ms Foley on suspicion of drink driving at Clonmoney West, Shannon.

According to Sgt Burke, this time Ms Foley was found to have been over the limit once more this time with her blood sample showing 210 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.

Sgt Burke told Judge Harris that the mandatory penalty for the first offence is three years and a mandatory six year driving ban for the second offence. Sgt Burke said that Ms Foley had no previous convictions.

Mr Casey said that Ms Foley only had money for a taxi back to Shannon on the night from Ennis. Mr Casey handed into court a testimonial from her employer. He said, “They think very, very highly of her. She has always been working. She works as a healthcare assistant”.

Mr Casey said that Ms Foley has family support in court. Along with imposing the two driving bans, Judge Harris said that he must acknowledge that Ms Foley is addressing the issues on an ongoing basis that were behind the drink-driving offences on the night in question. Judge Harris imposed fines of €200 in each case.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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