Drink-driving case dismissed against top hurler

Fri, Oct 26, 2012, 01:00

A DRINK-driving charge was dismissed against a two-time All-Star hurler last night when his uncle admitted supplying him with whiskey after the sports star had knocked down a pedestrian.

District Court judge Eugene O’Kelly commented on the evidence of Mark Foley and his uncle Jerry Foley, a former garda.

The ex-hurler had been convicted in February of failing to report the incident to gardaí immediately after knocking down the man.

He was banned from driving for 12 months.

After dismissing the State’s case, Judge O’Kelly said he was “gravely concerned there was cuteness and conniving between the uncle and his nephew”.

Addressing Mr Foley’s solicitor, the judge added: “He told a lie to cover his uncle. He said he had consumed alcohol four or five hours earlier when he knew he had consumed the whiskey .”

Earlier Mark Foley (37) of Abbeyview, Adare, Co Limerick, had admitted not telling investigating gardaí­ that his uncle had given him a miniature bottle of whiskey prior to him providing a breath sample.

“I didn’t want anyone else involved.

“I was being charged with drink-driving...I was being breathalysed. I knew I had failed ,” Mark Foley told the court.

Garda Brian O’Leary of Roxboro Road Garda station said that he received a call at 3.30am that a man had presented at the Regional Hospital, Limerick, claiming to have knocked down a pedestrian.

At 3.45am, and under caution, Mr Foley told Garda O’Leary he had been driving at around 2.20am on October 16th, 2010, when he hit a man walking along a road near Newcastle West.

Mr Foley told the court the pedestrian “fell out on to the road”. Mr Foley said he put the man into his Mercedes C200 car and drove him to hospital.

John Herbert, solicitor for Mr Foley, said Jerry Foley “did not believe he was going to frustrate any investigation”.

Judge O’Kelly said he had to accept that the whiskey had put the accused over the limit as the State could not dispute the evidence.

“I am satisfied the providing of the whiskey by the uncle put him over the limit.”

He added: “What is particularly appalling in this case is that...I don’t accept the evidence of the uncle that he is not aware of the hipflask defence...”

Judge O’Kelly said it gave him “no pleasure” to make the order dismissing the case.