Taximan claims former Garda refused to pay up
LIFE BAN FROM DRIVING DRUNKEN AND ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR CHARGES
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.