suspended sentence | 

Banned driver did speeds of 180km/h in residential area

Sean Kennedy

Eimear Cotter

A BANNED driver who drove at speeds of 180km/h in a residential area panicked when he saw gardaí as he knew he should not have been behind the wheel.

Sean Kennedy (31) weaved in and out of cars at high speeds and narrowly missed colliding with a Dublin bus last February 21.

He then ran from the vehicle and was arrested by gardaí after a short foot chase.

Judge Cephas Power said Kennedy's driving was "utterly outrageous" and it was "simply a miracle" no one was killed.

Judge Power imposed a four- month sentence suspended for one year. The judge fined Kennedy €750 and disqualified him from driving for 10 years.

The defendant, of Swords Manor Crescent in Swords, admitted driving without insurance, drink driving and dangerous driving.

Garda Colm O'Brien told Swords District Court he was on mobile patrol near Oldtown when he saw a car driving at excessive speed.

Gda O'Brien said he activated the blue lights and sirens and indicated for the vehicle to slow down but it failed to stop.

Kennedy drove onto Rathbeale Rise, weaving in and out to avoid parked cars.

Gda O'Brien said Kennedy narrowly avoided a collision with a Dublin bus on Brackenstown Road, failed to yield to traffic, and jumped from the car after he drove into a cul de sac. Asked to describe the area, Gda O'Brien said it was a built-up area, pedestrians were walking and Kennedy was doing speeds of 180kph.

Defence lawyer Annette Kealy said Kennedy split up with his long-term partner in 2020. He was in turmoil, was sleeping on friends' sofas and his drink problem worsened.

Kennedy was deeply ashamed of his behaviour, and knew his driving was reckless. He panicked when he saw gardaí as he knew he was disqualified, the lawyer added.

Ms Kealy said Kennedy was set to take up a place on a treatment programme, and she asked the judge not to jail him so he could do so.

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