06 Oct 2022

'Unbelievable': Judge's disbelief at drifting 'phenomenon' in Donegal

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

A District Court judge has branded ‘extraordinary’ the ‘phenomenon’ of the drifting of cars on public roads in Donegal.

Judge Deirdre Gearty was speaking in the case of Raphoe man Wilson Craig.

At Letterkenny District Court, Craig (19), of Drumfad, Raphoe, appeared charged with an incident at Raymoghey on October 20, 2021.

At 11pm, Gardaí were on patrol on the dual carriageway. Officers observed a black Lexus going around the roundabout in a sideways manner, skidding as the wheels ‘drifted sideways’, Sergeant Jim Collins told the court.

The car left the roundabout but came to an immediate stop when Gardaí signalled.

Craig had no previous convictions and was fully apologetic the court heard.

“Unbelievable,” remarked Judge Gearty. “It’s extraordinary.

“I’m curious. Is it testing the car, testing the roundabout or his own driving skills? Do you show off to someone that you’re able to do this manoeuvre?

Solicitor for Craig, Mr Donough Cleary said that these types of incidents were a ‘phenomenon that has taken off, such that there is a facility for this impulse nearby’.

“This has brought home some home truths to him,” Mr Cleary said.

“He received a fairly frosty reception from his parents, who are upstanding members of of the community.

“This was not a high-speed manoeuvre. The car was disposed of days later and he now drives in a more conventional manner.”

Mr Clearly said his client is an apprentice electrician and added that there was no-one else in the vicinity.

Craig was fined €250 for careless driving, a charge reduced from one of dangerous driving, and given six months to pay.

“I can’t understand it on any level,” Judge Gearty said,

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