Former Garda '˜deeply ashamed' at conviction

A retired Garda from Donegal was on his way to a hospital appointment in Dublin when he was arrested for drink driving near Ballygawley, a court has heard.


Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court in Dungannon on Wednesday was 65-year-old William Vincent Bourke from Donegal Road in Ballybofey.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with excess alcohol in breath at Tullyvar Road near Ballygawley on the morning of November 1.

The court heard how police in the vicinity of Ballygawley were driving behind a Vauxhall Vectra with southern registration at 5.30am on the morning in question.

While driving in the direction of Aughnacloy, the constables noted that Bourke’s car was swerving and even crossed the central while line.

He failed a roadside breath test and subsequently provided a breath sample over two and a half times the limit.

“My client is a retired Garda from Ballybofey and a cancer sufferer,” Mr Jarlath Faloon told the court.

“His son was supposed to have taken him to an appointment.

“He had taken drink the night before and was detected en route to an appointment with a doctor in Dublin.

“He is deeply ashamed given the job he previously did,” Mr Faloon described.

District Judge John Meehan handed down a fine of £150 and a driving disqualification of eighteen months because of the high level.

He reminded the defendant that the ban would also apply in the Republic of Ireland.

An offender’s levy of £15 was also imposed by Judge Meehan.