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Fatalities prevented by Garda driver's actions in Laois

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Fatalities prevented by Garda driver's actions in Laois

There would have been fatalities to gardai in a road traffic collision were it not for the actions taken by a garda driver, last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court heard.

Sergeant JJ Kirby, who was in the car which was struck by a man who was before the court looking to have his driving licence restored, outlined details of the accident to the court.

Musah Cissy of 37 Colliers Way, Portlaoise had an application before the court to have his driving licence restored.
He was disqualified from driving on July 17, 2016.

However, there was a garda objection to the application. The applicant told the court: “I have learned from it. I will never do that again,” in relation to drink driving offences by him.

Defence solicitor Philip Meagher outlined that Cissy had undertaken a safe driving programme and needs his driving licence to take up work as a carer in Naas. Having lost his wife to cancer in 2015, the applicant had got news that his sister had died on the day he was caught drink-driving.

He drove the car as he needed to top up his ESB account. “I am very sorry. I am ashamed of myself,” he told the court.

Sgt Kirby told the court the applicant had a “terrible record”. In a drink-driving case in 2008, he returned a reading of 83 over 100 for alcohol concentration. He was also involved in a dangerous driving incident in September, 2011.

In this incident the man crashed head-on into a garda van.  “He drove the van up into the air, causing serious injuries to several gardai,” Sgt Kirby said.  One garda had to retire after the incident, another had to have facial reconstruction and Sgt Kirby had been out of work for three months.

“I was a victim of a serious road traffic collision because of this man. “Only for the evasive action of the garda driver, there would have been fatalities,” Sgt Kirby said.  “I would have serious concerns about his driving,” Sgt Kirby added.
Mr Meagher said his client had shown regret and was looking for an opportunity.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to restore his licence at this stage,” Judge Catherine Staines said.