Europe

Judge tells County Kerry farmer to find 'nice wife'

Wedding rings Image copyright Niall Carson/PA
Image caption Judge James O'Connor asked if Mr O'Shea was 'going to stay single or will you take the plunge?'

A judge has told a bachelor farmer from an isolated part of County Kerry that he should find a wife before his ban for drink driving comes into effect.

John O'Shea, 60, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha, had previously pleaded guilty to drink driving in Waterville in July 2014.

Mr O'Shea's solicitor said his client lived 10km from Waterville and would be at a severe disadvantage if put off the road immediately.

The judge agreed to delay the ban.

Mr O'Shea's solicitor told Cahersiveen District Court in Killarney that gaelic football had been his client's "downfall on the day" the offence occurred.

He went to Waterville for cow feed and ended up talking about Kerry's performance in beating Cork in the Munster football final, drinking too much and hitting a ditch while driving home.

The accused's alcohol-blood reading - 198mg per 100ml - was such that the offence carried a three-year driving ban, the court heard.

The legal limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Mr O'Shea's solicitor asked if his client could not be put off the road until after the summer.

Mr O'Shea was asked if he had "good neighbours", to which he replied that they were "alright".

'Take the plunge'

The court heard his relatives live in County Cork.

Judge James O'Connor then asked if Mr O'Shea was "going to stay single or will you take the plunge?"

The judge was also told that, without transport, his client would be at a great disadvantage living in an isolated rural area.

"You'd never know now with Star Wars," Judge O'Connor said, in reference to the increased visitor numbers to south Kerry due to the activity surrounding the filming of the movie on Skellig Michael.

Being off the road would make it difficult for O'Shea to care for his cows and he would have to make arrangements to get rid of them, his solicitor said.

"Or find himself a nice woman," the judge said.

Mr O'Shea's solicitor noted that if the extension went beyond September, it would allow his client to go to the matchmaking festival at Lisdoonvarna.

Judge O'Connor said it was not the purpose of the state to "nail" people in terms of undoing their livelihood and he granted an adjournment of the ban until 8 December.

The Irish Road Victim's Association condemned the decision to delay imposing the driving ban.

"What planet is this judge living on?" its chairwoman Donna Rice asked.

"For a judge to give a priority to the care of cows over the protection of our families and children going about their daily business shows how out-of-touch he is with the reality faced by the hundreds of families left with seriously injured loved ones, and family members killed, by drunk drivers."

Related Topics