Judge hits out at “the disease of dangerous driving” in Donegal

A judge has described dangerous driving as “a disease’ amongst young people in Co Donegal.

Judge John O’Hagan said he does not see such driving in any part of the country where he travels.

Judge O’Hagan was speaking during the case of Stephen McLaughlin, 24, of Ballyare, Killygordan who was charged with dangerous driving.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard McLaughlin and another man were spotted racing at speeds of up to 180kph at Lisnaree on April 8th, 2010.

Judge John O’Hagan said he sees the evidence of this type of thing every night when he isgoing back to my hotel  – doughnuts on the road – it is plain for the eyes to see.

It doesn’t happen anywhere else but in my circuit, he said, it seems to be a disease that young people get into cars and put everybody in danger.”

Garda Marcus O’Dowd told the court that he had to pull his patrol car off the side of the road as the racing cars were going so fast.

Gardai chased the cars, reaching speeds of up to 180kph but the cars drove out of sight and were only caught when they pulled into a petrol station.

Judge O’Hagan disqualified McLaughlin from driving for two years, fined him €5,000 and sentenced him to six months in prison – suspending it for two years.