Driving ban for 70-year-old farmer ‘getting colostrum for sick calf’

A farmer who drove to a neighbour’s house – while under the influence of alcohol – to get colostrum for a sick calf has been disqualified from driving and fined a hefty sum at Kilmallock Court.

The Co. Limerick farmer – aged 70 – from Cloughadoolarty, Co. Limerick, pleaded guilty to the charges of drink driving, having no insurance and no driving licence.

At the case, inspector Padraig Sutton said on November 28, 2018, Gardai observed a white van weaving on the road.

Garda Geraldine McCarthy stopped the man at Skoolhill, Fedamore, and inspector Sutton said the defendant was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and conveyed to Bruff Garda Station.

A breath specimen gave a reading of 63mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. Insurance documents and his driving licence were not produced.

He told the court that the farmer in question has five previous convictions, all for road traffic offences.

Inspector Sutton said at Limerick District Court on September 26, 2018, the farmer had been disqualified from driving for three years and fined €500 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“It was a couple of weeks prior to this offence,” said inspector Sutton.

Con Barry, solicitor for the defendant, said his client is a 70-year-old retired farmer.

He has sold all his stock. On the night in question, one of his cows had calved and the calf was down. He had to get beestings to get the calf up. It was 12:00am at night.

Judge Marian O’Leary asked if his client “had heard of phones?”

“He rang his son but there was no reply,” said Mr. Barry.

The solicitor continued: “It was late at night. He had drink taken – he went down the road to his neighbours to get some colostrum for a sick calf. He has since sold his stock.”

Judge Marian O’Leary said: “If he comes before me again he won’t be going home.”

The farmer was put off the road for four years for drink driving and fined €500. For no insurance he was fined €500 and disqualified from driving for two years. Judge O’Leary fined the man €300 for no driving licence.