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Nicked One-handed drunk driver who led gardai on crazed 17-mile high-speed chase avoids jail

It emerged he had lost his left hand in a shocking industrial incident in 2013 when his arm got jammed into a sawmill and his hand was completely severed.

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Reckless: Brian Daly from Derry who led police on a highspeed chase around the winding lanes of Donegal

Reckless: Brian Daly from Derry who led police on a highspeed chase around the winding lanes of Donegal

Reckless: Brian Daly from Derry who led police on a highspeed chase around the winding lanes of Donegal

This is the one-handed drunk driver who led cops on a crazed 17-mile high-speed chase round country roads at over 80mph.

Brian Daly of McCartney Park in Derry put the lives of other road users at risk during the prolonged pursuit after the boozed-up speedster drove through a Garda checkpoint.

The 30-year-old father of three was twice the legal drink-drive limit when he fled the police and went on the high-speed chase round the country roads of Donegal.

But police were flabbergasted when they finally stopped Daly to find he had been driving the whole time with just one hand.

It emerged he had lost his left hand in a shocking industrial incident in 2013 when his arm got jammed into a sawmill and his hand was completely severed.

He has a prosthetic hand but he didn’t have it during the crazed car chase.

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Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

After refusing to stop for gardaí in Milford last July, police needed three cars to bring the dangerous incident to a halt.

They had to use a stinger device after finally managing to get in front of him but even that did not stop him at first as he drove with four flat tyres until finally surrendering.

By then he’d already committed several serious driving offences and put other road users in extreme danger.

Letterkenny District Court was told how Daly had been staying in Kerrykeel on holiday but in the early hours of July 26, following an argument, he jumped in his car having already drunk a number of cans of beer.

He refused to stop for gardaí and sped off in the direction of Ramelton pursued by the officers.

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Two other Garda cars joined the pursuit but could not catch Daly as he reached speeds of more than 130kph which is just over 80mph.

The court was told how reckless Daly’s driving was, as he apparently performed a number of dangerous manoeuvres during the chase.

This included a drunken Daly overtaking cars on bad bends and on continuous white lines where overtaking is deemed too dangerous.

Other gardaí got in front of Daly and disabled his car by using a stinger device at Thorn Road in Letterkenny but he continued on flat wheels before being stopped at the Dry Arch Roundabout outside the town.

He was arrested, taken to Letterkenny Garda station where an alcohol reading of 44mgms was detected – the limit in breath in the Republic is 22mgms.

However, officers were left stunned when they eventually stopped Daly to discover he had only one hand.

Defence solicitor Kieran Dillon told Letterkenny District Court that Daly had lost his hand in a tragic workplace accident when his hand caught in a machine.

Daly appeared in court last week accompanied by his girlfriend and the couple celebrated the birth of a baby boy just a few weeks after Daly’s driving escapades.

His solicitor Kieran Dillon told the court that losing his arm had a major psychological effect on him.

However, he said he did not use his disability as an excuse.

Instead, it was because he made a series of bad decisions during an incident that was “failed to doom”.

Questioning Mr Dillon, Judge Paul asked if Daly was using a prosthetic hand when evading gardaí but amazingly was told he was not.

Passing sentence, Judge Kelly said he had every sympathy for what happened to Mr Daly back in 2013 but described this incident as “incredibly dangerous”.

He added: “It would have been dangerous driving for someone with full physical capacity, but it is absolutely frightening that this happened while he had this particular difficulty.”

He fined Daly a total of €500 and also banned him from driving for two years.

A source told us Daly was lucky not to be sent to jail but that he was a “decent” lad who has been through a hard time.

“Brian knows he’s lucky he wasn’t locked up,” said the source who knows the family.

“He’s a decent big fella and he’s had a really tough time. He knows he could have wiped out a whole family if he’d hit them while overtaking on bends.

“It shook him up really badly afterwards but he’s turned himself around and he had a baby son born just after the incident.

“Losing his hand was a terrible blow and he’s done really well to recover from it. But he knows there’s no excuse for the way he was driving that day.”

In 2003, Daly spent five days in Altnagelvin Hospital after the horrific accident at a timber yard where he’d been asked to clean a mechanical saw.

The company was fined almost £10,000 after they were found to be at fault for the accident.

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