Took dangerous move on the road as he had fish to freeze

Portlaoise Courthouse meeting annoys Laois councillors

A 42-year-old man who undertook a dangerous manoeuvre on the road as he had fish in his vehicle that he was anxious to get refrigerated has been directed to complete a drivers educational programme.

At a recent sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Mariuz Okapiec (42), with an address at 40 Heather Lane, Esker Hills, Portlaoise, was charged with dangerous driving, at Tower Hill, Portlaoise, on September 29 last.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that at Tower Hill, Portlaoise, on September 29 this year, during the Old Fort Festival, the accused overtook two vehicles at a roundabout, forcing several vehicles to have to avoid a collision. No one was injured in the incident.

The accused had one previous conviction for drink driving.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the accused had travelled to Cork to go fishing and had fish in the vehicle that he was anxious to have refrigerated. He got caught behind slow traffic, with the road closed off for the festival.

Ms Fitzpatrick said he accepted it was a dangerous manoeuvre to make, but a conviction for dangerous driving could affect his work. Defence said the accused was currently doing the an external drivers programme.

Saying that the accused was clearly in need of education for his driving, Judge Catherine Staines said she would consider reducing the charge to careless driving but the accused would have to face a disqualification.

The matter was adjourned to December 19 for him to complete the external programme.