Five men have pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after being caught doing doughnuts in their cars on a main road earlier this month as part of a Garda operation targeting “organised boy-racing”.
The men, aged between 18 and 25 and who had no previous convictions, appeared before Killarney District Court on Tuesday.
Three of them were ordered to contribute €3,500 to the court poor box, one was ordered to give €4,500 to the poor box and the case of the fifth man was adjourned. The charges may later be mitigated to careless driving or driving without due care. Devices limiting the speed their cars can travel at to 100 km/h are to be installed for a period of two years.
Judge James O’Connor was told the Garda operation on the N22 Cork-Killarney Road on April 2nd last found 20 vehicles parked on the hard shoulder near Killarney while five men in powerful cars completed multiple doughnuts at the same time on the road.
Gardaí were seeking to clamp down on “organised boy-racing” in advance of the annual Rally of the Lakes over the May bank holiday, the judge was told.
All five men “had a passion for cars,” the court heard.
‘About 15 doughnuts’
Garda Joe O'Sullivan told the court Kelvin McGillycuddy (18), of Ballycleave, Glenbeigh, was seen doing "about 15 doughnuts" at Cloghane on the N22. His case has been adjourned to next week.
Seán O'Sullivan (25), of Gortdarrig, Headford, Killarney, who was seen doing seven doughnuts, is to pay €3,500; as was Adrian O'Connor (21), of Carrigeen, Cullia, Headford, who did about 30 doughnuts in his BMW; and Gavin O' Connor (19), of Colleanaig, Beaufort, Killarney, who did between 25 and 30 doughnuts.
Gary Healy (19), of Foiladown, Clonkeen, Killarney, who was seen doing about 20 doughnuts on the night, and was a week later observed entering and exiting a roundabout at speed with the rear of the car sliding was ordered to pay €4,500 to the court poor box.
His solicitor Padraig O’Connell said while the penalties seemed harsh, it was “better than being at a coroner’s inquest”.
Mr O’Connor said other roads in Kerry were “black” with tyre marks and that anyone caught for boy-racing behaviour during the period of the rally this year would faces fines of “a lot more than €3,500”.