Donegal man convicted of drink-driving horse and trap

Judge tells man his ‘luck has run out’ and fines him €250 with two months in prison

Danny Connors was sentenced to two months in prison for driving an animal-propelled vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Photograph: North West Newspix

Danny Connors was sentenced to two months in prison for driving an animal-propelled vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Photograph: North West Newspix

 

A Donegal man who was caught drink-driving a horse-drawn carriage at 2.45am one morning has been sent to prison.

On November 2nd, 2016, Danny Connors was observed on a horse and trap between two lanes of the Neil T Blaney Road in Letterkenny.

Connors (44), of 7 Canal Road, Letterkenny, who was described as being “highly intoxicated”, sped off after being pursued by gardaí.

He was sentenced to two months imprisonment after threatening gardaí with an iron bar and two glass bottles as they approached him.

Connors, who has 31 previous convictions, dismounted at Canal Road and held up an iron bar to gardaí. He then picked up two glass bottles and waved them at the approaching officers.

Connors was pepper-sprayed and arrested.

Defence solicitor Michael Shiel said Connors “was dying to take the horse out”.

“He got the horse a day or two before it,” Mr Shiel told Letterkenny District Court.

“I asked him why he took the horse and trap out at half-past two in the morning. He hadn’t had a chance to take it out and he was dying to get out on the horse.

“He realises that it was an act of lunacy. It was a crazy act to do. He had drink taken and his judgement wasn’t the best.”

Asked why he had taken off when gardaí attempted to stop him, Connors claimed he could not control the horse and he tried to steer back home.

Connors pleaded guilty to the charges of attempting to drive an animal-propelled vehicle while drunk and resisting arrest.

“This incident is particularly graphic,” said Judge Paul Kelly. “He took an unfortunate animal out in that condition onto an extremely busy road at that hour of the morning.

“He then tried to get away from gardaí and picked up a bar and bottles. His luck has run out.”

Judge Kelly sentenced Connors to two months in prison and issued a fine of €250.

Recognisance in the event of an appeal was set on Connors’ own bond of €400.