78-year-old Donegal granny is good enough to get a job on Top Gear!

No bother to her as Joan Heraty (78) from Kilcar gets her driving test

78-year-old Donegal granny is good enough to get a job on Top Gear!

A Donegal granny who has just got her driving test has been told by her grand-children that she’s good enough to get a job on Top Gear.

Mrs Joan Heraty (78), Kilcar, booked a course of lessons after her husband, Ray, died five years ago.

She explained: "Where I live on the Wild Atlantic Way", she said, "not even the Community Bus Service can get to my house. I was relying on friends and family to go anywhere and that's not really satisfactory."

So, Joan (pictured with her instructor Diane Harvey) booked the lessons with D's School of Motoring & Training, Killybegs and Diane Harvey, the award-winning proprietor of the motoring school said: "I am delighted. I loved Joan's enthusiasm and her ability.

"Many a person would say they were too old but anybody can learn if they are willing to put in the time and effort. You have to want something and Joan really wanted this", she added.

Asked to comment on her success, Mrs. Heraty said: "This is not about me; it's about Diane and the care she took. She gave me every encouragement and care. I was her client and I was paying her but it never felt like that. She was fabulous.

"She used to say to me to stop driving like a granny, and I would say 'Well, I am a granny.'" Joan has three children and three grand-children. And they're all very proud of her. One of them told her she could now apply for a job on "Top Gear".

When Joan and her late husband retired from running The Piper's Rest pub in Kilcar, they bought a camper van and travelled all over Europe, with Ray doing all the driving.

"I was the original happy passenger", Joan said. "I never wanted to drive. Every now and then he would say I should learn but I didn't want to."

Joan booked her first theory lesson with D's School of Motoring three years ago and did a trial run at the driving test two years ago to get an idea of what was ahead of her. When she took the test this week, she was ready.

"Diane is very good as assessing a person and taking you out of your comfort zone", she said. "There are people like myself who have reached a certain age and they think they can't do it. They can; if they have the right teacher", Joan insisted.

She added that people should make sure their teacher is a professional and is properly registered. "There are many others around my own age who say they wished they had the nerve to learn to drive. I didn't have the nerve either, just the right teacher", Joan said.

Asked to say what the driving licence means to her, Joan said: "This is not about me. It's about Diane and the care she took. What she has given me is independence."

Pictured Joan gives the thumbs up and Diane Harvey of D's School of Motoring & Training, Killybegs