Man jailed for drunk driving at University Hospital Galway


A man was jailed for drunk driving a car he car he didn’t have permission to take on the grounds of University Hospital Galway.

Patrick Doonan (19), with an address in Manorlands, Trim, County Meath pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving, driving without a licence, failure to produce, and taking possession of a car without permission from the owner.

The court heard that on April 1 of last year gardaí were called to University Hospital Galway after reports of a seriously damaged car driving erratically on the hospital grounds.

When gardaí arrived on the scene a witness pointed out the car in question to them. When gardaí spoke to Doonan he initially denied driving ans became aggressive with gardaí.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, and a blood sample taken at Galway garda station came back with a reading of 200mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The District Court heard that the car, which belonged to Mr Doonan’s friend, and which he did not have permission to take, suffered €14,000 worth of damage.

Solicitor for the defence Olivia Traynor said the Doonan was in Galway with a group of friends who had come down to Galway and were staying at a bed and breakfast in Salthill.

Speaking in his own defence Doonan said that he had been going through a rough patch with alcohol at the time of this incident.

That day at the bed and breakfast he had a considerable amount to drink and the other people he was there with had fallen asleep.

He said that he went down to the car to listen to music and had no intention beforehand of taking it out to drive.

Since the time of this incident he has made up with the friend in question he added.

“You were lucky you weren’t killed or didn’t kill somebody else,” Judge Fahy said. She said that while it’s perfectly fine for young people to come to Galway for a good time, this kind of behaviour isn’t acceptable.

The judge added that she thought he was a young man of potential, and took no pleasure in sentencing him, he message had to go out that drunk driving was not acceptable.

For the drunk driving charge she imposed a one month prison sentence, with another month to be served consecutively for the unauthorised taking charge, and disqualified him from driving for three years.

The other charges of driving without a licence and failure to produce a licence and insurance were taken into consideration.