01 Dec 2021

Man in N15 driving incident keeps licence, escapes with fine

Letterkenny court

Letterkenny courthouse

A man involved in an incident of dangerous driving in Donegal that went viral on social media has avoided a disqualification after charges against him were reduced.

Giedrius Jarmala was before Letterkenny District Court, where he faced two counts of dangerous driving on April 14, 2021, at Carricknamanna, Killygordon and Cavan Lower, Killygordon.

Dash cam footage of the driving, which occurred on the N15 road between Stranorlar and Killygordon, was shared on social media at the time.

Jarmala managed to hold onto his licence after having the charges reduced to careless driving.

The court heard that, at 5.25pm on April 14, 2021, Gardaí received a number of complaints of dangerous driving on the N15.

A silver Dacia Duster was observed overtaking a number of vehicles on a dangerous stretch of road.

The vehicle was observed performing an overtaking manoeuvre on a narrow, continuous-white-line bend at Carricknamanna, Killygordon.

Dash cam footage was obtained by Gardai showing the vehicle in question almost colliding head-on with another vehicle.

The same vehicle was seen performing a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre at sped at Cavan Lower, Killygordon. Again, Jarmala narrowly avoided a collision with oncoming

Jarmala made admissions when arrested by Gardaí.

“He made a full and frank statement when stopped,” solicitor for Jamala, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said.

“He was going home in a rush. He got delayed and had an issue with a job.

“His wife called him and it was a rather tense situation. The pressure of life got to him.

“There was no accident here. We all make that one mistake, but he should know better at his age.”

Jarmala, a married father-of-one, was accompanied by a Lithuanian translator to the hearing.

Judge Raymond Finnegan said he had ‘a lot of difficulty’ with the case.

‘Reluctantly’, Judge Finnegan said, he was reducing the charge to one of careless driving.

Jarmala was fined €500 and given five months to pay.

“If he is before me again he is not just in danger of losing his licence, but of getting a lengthy prison sentence.”

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