Disqualified driver who rammed Garda patrol car is sentenced

Michael Walsh pleaded guilty to charges after driving directly at vehicle in Ballyfermot

A disqualified driver who rammed a Garda patrol car four times in an attempt to escape a Garda has been sentenced to three years in jail, with the final 20 months suspended.

Michael Walsh (32), of Cherry Orchard Crescent, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to endangerment, dangerous driving and having no insurance on December 18th, 2014.

He has 19 previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences, including a 10-year disqualification order handed down in August 2012.

Sgt Richard Williams told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that Garda Ciaran Garry had been in pursuit of Walsh after he spotted him driving erratically in the Ballyfermot area at 6am on the date in question.


The court heard that Walsh refused to stop when indicated to do so and continued to drive dangerously until gardaí followed him to his home.

Walsh drove down the cul-de-sac where he lived, performed a handbrake turn and drove directly at the Garda patrol car that was blocking him in, crashing into the vehicle head on.

He then reversed and rammed the car three more times in an effort to push it out of the way.

The court heard that Garda Ciaran Garry then got out of his car, smashed the passenger window on Walsh’s vehicle with a baton and ordered him to get out.

When Walsh refused, the garda smashed the driver’s window, took the keys out of the ignition and wrestled Walsh out of the car.

He then pinned Walsh to the ground, handcuffed him and brought him to the local Garda station.

The court heard that Walsh was ordered to present valid tax, insurance and NCT certificates, but never did so.

‘Extremely intoxicated’

Sgt Williams said that Walsh was extremely intoxicated at the time of the incident and agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that it had been the anniversary of the death of Walsh’s mother on the day in question.

The court heard that she died when Walsh was 10-years-old.

The court also heard that Walsh’s six-week-old baby had recently died from a bacterial infection and he had been suffering from depression at the time.

A victim impact report from Garda Ciaran Garry indicated that he had neck pain and stiffness in his back following the initial crash.

He said that he found himself being more cautious and apprehensive in work since the incident.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Walsh to three years in prison but suspended the final 20 months, taking into account his guilty plea and expression of remorse.

He said that Walsh’s behaviour was very serious and he had been “heedless” as to the extensive injuries he could have caused the garda.

The judge said the fact that Walsh was driving while disqualified was a “severely aggravating factor”, and that he had shown a level of contempt for the road traffic code.