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20 May 2022

Jockey was over the limit on way to the Curragh

Jockey was over the limit on way to the Curragh

A professional jockey received a six month disqualification for drink driving at a sitting of Portlaoise District Court.

Dylan Whelan 22, of Carrickahilla, Stradbally, Co Waterford was arrested on suspicion of drink driving on the M7 in Portlaoise on July 18 last year. 

Solicitor Philip Meagher said his client was in the UK but had instructed him that “he wishes to enter a plea of guilty” to the offence. “He has taken up work in Cheltenham. He is a jockey by profession Judge,”  he remarked. 

Sgt JJ Kirby said the defendant had been “in between lanes driving back and forth” and when stopped on the M7 in Portlaoise was found to have an alcohol reading of 32mgs over 100mls. Sgt Kirby said the man was driving on a provisional licence and had no previous convictions and was co-operative with gardai. 

Mr Meagher said his client “has been a professional jockey since February 2020” and he was on his way to the Curragh at the time he was arrested.  He said the man had attended a family function the previous evening but had stopped drinking during the night.  “He obviously hadn’t given himself enough time to clear the alcohol from his system,” he remarked. 

He said he realises now that he should have been more careful and he explained that he had never come to the attention of Gardai before. He said he is looking forward  to working in England and “a trainer over there has given him what will hopefully be a wonderful opportunity.”  Mr Meagher said in terms of the case, his client was “anxious to just get it over with.” 

Judge Patricia Cronin said the Sergeant “was very positive in relation to this young man.” She noted he was co-operative and the “reading is on the low end.”  She said had the man a full licence the case wouldn’t be in court. She disqualified him from driving for six months and fined him €150. 

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