Driver sped away from checkpoint
A young driver turned off his car lights at the Hungry Rock at 1 o’clock in the morning to avoid being detected by Gardaí.
Ross Egan (20), of Mount Crescent, Coolaney, was also seen driving dangerously in convoy with another person in a second car at Lugnadeffa, Ballisodare the same night, 6 th March 2016.
An off-duty Garda was driving in his own car on the N59 at 1.25am when he saw Egan’s car being driven in a “particular manner” so he followed him.
Garda Gardiner was then overtaken at speed by a second car and said the two cars appeared to be in convoy.
Inspector Paul Kilcoyne told Sligo District Court that Egan and his accomplice turned off the N59 towards Coolaney and the Hungry Rock and turned off their lights “entirely” to avoid detection.
Garda Gardiner stopped pursuing them at that point.
The Court heard that Egan went on to commit six other Road Traffic Offences last year.
On 13th April 2016 he was detected driving without an N-Plate or tax at Seaview Park.
On 11 th September Egan was detected driving at 78kph in a 50kph zone at Cornageeha.
When he was stopped at a Garda Checkpoint on Temple Street 30 th October, Gardaí detected the previous offences.
Judge Kevin Kilrane was told Egan suddenly took off at speed with a Garda having to take evasive action to avoid being struck by his car.
He was later found on Larkhill Road. Egan went on to offend again on 9 th December last year when he was found driving without insurance.
He pleaded guilty to all seven offences last Thursday.
His solicitor Mr Gerard McGovern admitted the last offence was an oversight by Egan and he was only out of insurance cover by one day.
The court heard Egan has three previous convictions, for speeding and having no tax.
“It’s a difficult matter,” admitted Mr McGovern.
“This young man has been trying to avoid today. There are times he hasn’t appeared in court but he’s come around.
He said Egan had “a lot of growing up to do.”
Mr McGovern also described Egan as a “top club young foot- baller” who plays for Sligo/ Leitrim team. He told Judge Kilrane that for Egan to find himself in this situation, especially turning off his car lights, was “just crazy.”
“He’s created havoc for himself. I told him that he could be looking at something that he dreads, being put behind bars,” said the solicitor.
He told the judge that there was nothing in Egan’s past that would explain his behaviour. Judge Kilrane said the question of prison had to be looked at given the offences which indicated a “pattern.”
“It was a stupid and foolish time in my life,” said Egan, admitting to the judge that he hadn’t respected other road users “looking back.”
“The penny’s dropped. I just want to put it behind me,” he told the judge.
Judge Kilrane said he wanted to know more about Egan and ordered the preparation of a Probation Report and any testimonials for 2nd November at Sligo District Court.
Sligo Courthouse on Teeling Street.