DESPITE cutting inside a vehicle tuning right at Killorglin’s Bianconi Roundabout from the Laune Bridge side, it was the driver of the other vehicle who ended up with a conviction following a court case described by a district court judge as ‘’a classic case of road rage’.
t a Killorglin District Court sitting in Cahersiveen, Kevin Anthony O’Hara was convicted of driving without reasonable consideration for other road users after he flashed another vehicle overtaking him on the wrong side of the roundabout.
While Judge David Waters labelled over-taking driver Shane Buckley’s actions “appalling”, he said Mr O’Hara was the only person before the court after he failed to pay a fixed charge notice and decided to fight the case, claiming he was being treated unfairly.
Kevin Anthony O’Hara was before the court charged with driving without reasonable consideration following the incident in Killorglin on February 8, 2021.
During a lengthy case, the court heard that, following a garda investigation, both drivers were issued with fixed charge notices for driving without reasonable consideration for others. Mr Buckley had paid this and was therefore not before the court.
The court heard that on the night in question gardaí had come across both men arguing on Mill Road in Killorglin. The had emerged from their cars and gardaí got out of their patrol car to “defuse the situation”.
In a caution statement, Mr O’Hara said he said he was driving along by An Bainseach in Killorglin having travelled from Dublin and was driving at 60kmph as he was checking if a planning notice was still standing. A car was behind him flashing his lights. He thought it may be a patrol car but realised it was not.
When he got into Killorglin town and was taking right at the roundabout to New Line Road, the other car cut through the roundabout and continued on. Mr O’Hara said he had flashed him and the other driver slammed on the brakes. He too had slammed on his brakes and the other driver alighted and walked back to him. “He was shouting and cursing and I felt his driving was harassing, bullying and intimidating. He said he was not driving dangerously,” Mr O’Hara stated.”
In a second caution statement taken from Mr O’Hara he said he did not stop the other driver Shane Buckley from overtaking him and did not put his hands on him.
Judge Waters said it was a “classic case of road rage on behalf of both parties”.
Sgt Adrian Brennan told the court that he felt Mr O’Hara compounded the situation by coming over the bridge and staying close to the white line blocking the other driver from overtaking. He said Mr O’Hara did this “to frustrate the other driver”. Judge Waters said this would not be a location to take over.
Mr O’Hara said he was not trying to block the other vehicle and that he did not feel he was too close to the white line.
His solicitor said that Mr O’Hara had not flashed the other driver but had flashed an oncoming car to warn that a car was coming on the other side of the road but Sgt Brennan said there was no other car coming on CCTV.
In direct evidence, Mr O’Hara said that that the other driver had overtaken at the roundabout at the Bianconi and turning for New Line Road “on the inside on my right hand side” in what was a “kamikaze manoeuvre” and that he flashed the car coming down to warn him. He denied he flashed the other driver because he had overtaken him.
Inspector Anthony Harrington put it to Mr O’Hara that he had had to take corrective measures to avoid a car coming against him as he was so close to the white line coming into Killorglin.
Judge Waters said Mr O’Hara was aggressive in the witness box but Mr O’Hara said it was his nature. However, Judge Waters said that while both parties were at fault he specifically had to decide on Mr O’Hara’s driving.
He said it was clear Mr O’Hara was angry about being followed and rightly so but he said he should have made a complaint and not flashed the other driver. As he did flash his lights he was guilty of the driving without due care and attention and he fined him €200.