Groom fined after wedding 'doughnuts'

“Foolhardy and dangerous in the extreme” - Judge

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Groom fined after wedding  'doughnuts'

A judge has said a young couple who allowed drivers to perform “doughnut” manoeuvers around them on a public road junction on their wedding day was “foolhardy and dangerous in the extreme”.
Speaking at yesterday's sitting of Letterkenny District Court, Judge Paul Kelly added he was concerned that the incident was filmed and spread on social media, which he suggested, "may give oxygen to people who want to do this type of activity” on Donegal roads.
Garda Sean O’Hara told the court that he was tasked to investigate a video of an incident that had “gone viral” on social media after May 30th, 2015.
The video featured newly married couple Michael (26) and Siobhan Doogan (29) of Meenlaragh, Gortahork, standing in the middle of the road at the junction between the N56 and the R251 at Meenderrycamp, where they permitted drivers to perform “doughnut” manoeuvres around them, while the roadway was temporarily blocked for a short period in the afternoon.
The court heard during the course of the investigation that gardaí established the names of those driving the cars involved.
Garda O’Hara said while there was no complaint made, the video showed cars having to stop and wait until those performing the 'doughnuts' had finished.
Solicitor Frank Dorrian said no one was injured. He added that while his clients were participants, they did not instigate the matter and it was guests at their wedding celebrations who did the driving.
Judge Kelly said Donegal was “plagued” with doughnut marks on roadways and he was “exasperated” that the video was posted online. This, he added, could send out the message that it was “okay” to drive in such a manner in the county.
He said he took a “certain line” with people appearing in court after the Donegal International Rally, during which they performed such manoeuvres that caused no harm or disruption to other users. He added, however, that this case was different because traffic was disrupted in both directions, on both roads.
He said “luckily” neither of the pair were injured and there was not a “tragic aftermath to what would have been a happy occasion”.
Michael Doogan has six previous convictions for road traffic offences, including dangerous driving and the fraudulent use of a number plate.
Judge Kelly fined him €500 for obstruction and struck out a charge of failing to give information.
Siobhan Doogan had a charge of failing to give information struck out.
Meanwhile in a related case, a charge of dangerous driving against one of the alleged drivers on the day, was struck out.
Charles McClafferty (34) of Glasherchoo, Gortahork, was charged
with dangerous driving and obstruction on the N56 at Gort An Choirce.

However, the court was told that Ms Siobhan Doogan, the bride on the
day, was the only witness in the case of Mr McClafferty.
Inspector Denis Joyce said she had left the court after her case and that she had not been
issued with a summons in relation to the charges against Mr McClafferty.
He said that as she was the only witness in the case, it could not proceed without her evidence.
Judge Kelly said he had been left with no option but to strike the charges out.

Michael Doogan has six previous convictions for road traffic offences, including dangerous driving and the fraudulent use of a number plate.
Judge Kelly fined him €500 for obstruction and struck out a charge of failing to give information.
Siobhan Doogan had a charge of failing to give information struck out.
Meanwhile in a related case, a charge of dangerous driving against one
of the alleged drivers on the day, was struck out.
Charles McClafferty (34) of Glasherchoo, Gortahork, was charged with dangerous driving and obstruction on the N56 at Gort An Choirce.

However, the court was told that Ms Siobhan Doogan, the bride on the day, was the only witness in the case of Mr McClafferty.
Inspector Denis Joyce said she had left the court after her case and that she had not been issued with a summons in relation to the charges against Mr McClafferty. He said that as she was the only witness in the case, it could not proceed without her evidence.
Judge Kelly said he had been left with no option but to strike the charges out.