Tax­i­man claims for­mer Garda re­fused to pay up


Bray People - - News -

A FOR­MER GARDA and foot­baller whose danger­ous driv­ing caused the deaths of two young friends near Bray in 1997 was back be­fore the courts last week on charges of drunk­e­ness and threat­en­ing and abu­sive be­hav­iour.

Pat Spollen, aged 45, orig­i­nally from County Of­faly and now with an ad­dress at 5 Oak­field Court in Tralee, was a key player for the St. Pa­trick’s club in Wick­low Town while based at the Garda Sta­tion there in the late 1980s and early 1990s, while he also lined out at in­ter-county level for Wick­low.

In 1993, he was trans­ferred to En­nis­cor­thy in County Wex­ford, but he had to re­sign from the force in 1995 fol­low­ing a con­vic­tion for drunken driv­ing.

Much worse was to fol­low two years later when he was the driver of a car that caused the death of two young friends, 16-year-old Joseph Mulc­ahy from the Kil­lar­ney Road in Bray, and 22year-old Ja­son Cof­fey from Dun Laoghaire. In 2001, he pleaded guilty at the Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to danger­ous driv­ing caus­ing the deaths of the two young men.

He was banned for life from driv­ing and also re­ceived a two-year sus­pended sen­tence, es­cap­ing a cus­to­dial term mainly be­cause the court heard that the mother of Joseph Mulc­ahy did not want the for­mer Garda jailed.

Spollen was back in trou­ble on the week­end be­fore last when pay­ing a visit to his for­mer base of En­nis­cor­thy, as he was brought to the bar­racks there on the night of Fri­day Jan­uary 30 by a taxi driver who com­plained he was re­fus­ing to pay up.

The driver said that he had picked up his fare in Wex­ford and a sum of € 30 was owed. Ac­cord­ing to Garda Sergeant Bren­dan Moore, Spollen re­sponded by abus­ing both him and the driver. It ap­peared that he had a lot of drink taken. Charges of in­tox­i­ca­tion and fail­ure to pay the fare were pro­ferred.

Also be­fore the court was a charge lev­elled by Garda Ja­son Se­ward, who ar­rested the same man two days later, on Sun­day Fe­bru­ary 1, at the Wex­ford Road in En­nis­cor­thy in an al­legedly drunken state. So­lic­i­tor Mandy Walsh, ap­pear­ing for the ex-Garda in­di­cated that her client con­tested all charges and she ap­plied for copies of all ev­i­dence against Spollen.

Judge Don­n­chadh O Buachalla set a date of June 3 to hear all charges.

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