Five in court over pony and cart race in traffic


FIVE MEN have appeared in court accused of driving offences relating to a sulky race – a pony and cart trotting race – in heavy traffic on the main Cork to Limerick road last May.

Video footage of the galloping ponies and carts in the thick of swerving motorway traffic went viral in May after it was filmed and posted on YouTube the day after the race. It has since been viewed more than 347,000 times.

The five were charged yesterday with multiple driving offences including counts of dangerous driving, wilful obstruction and dangerous overtaking on the left at Ballygibbon, Blarney, on May 5th last.

They were arrested in different locations around Cork city shortly after 8am and charged at Gurranebraher Garda station.

They appeared before Cork District Court shortly before lunchtime.

James O’Brien (28) of Inishannon Road in Fair Hill, Cork, was charged with dangerous driving.

Patrick O’Brien (25) of Woodford Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, was charged with wilful obstruction and dangerous driving.

Daniel Stokes (46), with an address at the Halting Site in Knocknaheeney, was charged with two counts of dangerous driving and two counts of overtaking on the left.

James Stokes (18) of St Anthony’s Park, Knocknaheeney, was charged with wilful obstruction, driving without a licence, driving while holding a mobile phone and two counts of dangerous driving.

Christopher Roche (41), with an address at the Halting Site, Knocknaheeny, was charged with three counts of dangerous driving and two counts of wilful obstruction.

Sgt Kenneth O’Sullivan gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. All five, who are unemployed and applying for free legal aid, were granted bail on condition they sign on with gardaí three times a week. They were remanded on bail and their own bond of €200 and Judge Joe Malone instructed them not to engage in any form of sulky racing in a public place.

The men are due to appear in court again on November 27th.