26 Sept 2022

Social media clip of rally weekend 'doughnuts' leads to conviction

A man appeared at Letterkenny District Court after Gardai tracked him down when a video clip of the incident was posted on social media

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

A Galway man was convicted for performing a ‘doughnut’ manoeuvre at a busy Letterkenny junction after a clip of the incident was posted on social media.

Jason Nee, a 25-year-old from Carraroe, Galway, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in connection with the incident on June 20, 2021.

It was, said solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher, a ‘classic IS200 case’.

The defendant, was driving a silver Lexus IS200 when, at 12.20pm on the date in question, he drove into a yellow box at Upper Main Street, Letterkenny before making off down the Main Street.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the incident was captured and put on social media.

Sergeant Collins said Nee ‘seen an opportune moment’.

“The yellow box there is hallowed ground for these manoeuvres when the lights are red,” Sergeant Collins said.

“I believe that on previous occasions there were ‘rewards’ for people who did this when the Gardaí were present.”

Sergeant Collins said Nee was ‘very apologetic’ and made full admissions.

Mr Gallagher said his client had made ‘full and frank admissions’. Gardaí in Letterkenny made a phonecall to officers in Nee’s locality. Nee was alerted and visited his local Garda station the following day.

“He made one stupid mistake,” Mr Gallagher said. “He values his licence and this isn’t a big track and trace situation.

“The car is now gone. The Lexus IS a honeytrap for Gardaí.”

In a statement to Gardaí, Nee had said: “I realise it was a moment of madness. I regret doing it and I wish that I never did.”

The incident happened on Rally Weekend but with no rally taking place last summer, Judge Alan Mitchell said he was ‘quite amazed at how many people were around for an event that wasn’t taking place’.

“It was like a ghost rally,” he said. “There was no rally, but everyone turned up.”

Judge Mitchell said Nee was ‘obviously trying to impress the people who were filming’.

“It is all grand bravado until someone loses control,” Judge Mitchell said.

Judge Mitchell said he would reduce a charge of dangerous driving to one of careless driving.

“Just about,” Just Mitchell remarked. “I am not impressed with the antics that go on during rally weekend. People need to know the consequences.”

Nee was fined €300 for careless driving.

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