A NEWPORT man who crashed head-on into the path of another car while ‘under the influence’ was the epitome of the ‘ego-centricity of modern society and youth’ according to Judge Mary Devins.
Alfred Mullarkey (23) of Gortawarla, Newport was convicted of drink driving, dangerous driving and driving without insurance after crashing his father’s car head-on into the path of a car driven by Michael Heffernan at Carrabeg, Westport at approximately 3am on November 20, 2010.
A sitting of Westport District Court heard that Mr Heffernan of Murrisk Pier, Murrisk was returning from work in Allergan when Mr Mullarkey’s car came around a bend and collided with him.
He suffered a shattered knee and a broken sternum and explained that Mr Mullarkey had not co-operated or responded to any correspondence with the personal injury assessment board.
Judge Mary Devins said that she got the impression that Mr Mullarkey had no idea of the effect of the accident on other people other than himself.
“You are the epitome of the ego-centricity of modern society and youth ….. ‘because you’re worth it’. But you’re not, there are other people more important,” she said.
Garda Christine Donagher said she came upon the accident and after talking to Mr Mullarkey, arrested him for drink driving. A blood sample showed a concentration of 177mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Mr Mullarkey contested the drink driving charge on a technicality after the gardaí admitted that they had sent his blood sample to the wrong address and it was returned to Castlebar Garda Station. The sample was returned by hand to the right address but Mr Patrick Durcan, solicitor for the defendant argued the gardaí were obliged to send the sample as soon as practicable.
Inspector Joe Doherty said that they did send it as soon as practicable and Judge Devins agreed and convicted Mr Mullarkey of drink driving.
The court heard that seven weeks before the incident, the defendant had been detected for driving without insurance and was subsequently convicted. Mr Durcan said his client was unemployed and understood the seriousness of the charges and that he could go to jail.
Mr Mullarkey told the court that he wished the accident had never happened and that he didn’t co-operate with Mr Heffernan because he ‘panicked’.
Insp Doherty said the incident could have ended up in a fatality and the defendant had fought the case in court. He said his behaviour on the road was out-dated and should not be happening.
Judge Devins told Mr Mullarkey that if Ireland had a proper prison set-up she would sentence him to prison but knew he would be out after a short time. Instead she sentenced him to 200 hours community service in lieu of a prison sentence, disqualified him from driving for five years and fined him €1,300.