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Meenlaragh man led gardai on 29km car chase

Dungloe District Court

Dungloe District Court

A MAN who admitted 13 offences following a 29-kilometre car chase by gardai was fined a total of €2,900 at Dungloe District Court.

     Jason Ward, 21, was also given a six-month suspended sentence and barred from driving for four years.

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     Judge Paul Kelly noted Ward had more than 140 milligrammes of alcohol in his blood.

      He added: “It is a miracle no injury was caused. It is the only reason he is walking out of here today.”

     An earlier court heard that Ward, of Curransport, Meenlaragh, drove at up to 140 kilometres per hour, sometimes without lights, in the early hours of December 14, 2014, at Main Street, Falcarragh; Glaserchoo, Gortahork; Cosclady and Meenderrygamph, Bunbeg; and at Gortahork.

   The series of incidents started at 1.05 a.m at Main, St, Falcarragh, when a mini-bus was collecting passengers from a disco.

    A car driven by Ward, of Curransport, Meenlaragh, approached at speed and swerved out at the rear of the mini-bus and didn’t slow down. It narrowly avoided a collision with the front of the patrol car as it was passing.

      Later gardai noticed the same vehicle driving away from another disco. They activated the blue light on the patrol car and signalled the vehicle to stop when it was travelling at 120 kmh in a 50 kmh zone.

     They followed at speeds of up to 120 kmh which at times rose to 140 kmh on a very wet night with large amounts of water on the road. Ward failed to stop for other gardai and at one stage switched off his vehicle lights and drove 500 metres without them.

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   Ward, who works as a tunneler in the UK, admitted 13 offences linked to the chase.  They included five counts of dangerous driving, one of attempting to drive while over the drink limit, and failing to stop for gardai. They also included having no insurance or driving licence and failing to produce them.

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