Cllr Ciaran Brogan
A Donegal county councillor, Ciaran Brogan, has been convicted of drink driving, after he was found asleep at the steering wheel of a car in the middle of a public road.
The Fianna Fáil councillor was convicted at Letterkenny District Court yesterday after he denied being in charge of a vehicle while exceeding the alcohol limit on June 22nd, 2015 at Ballymacool, Letterkenny.
Brogan (44), from Sockar, Trentagh, Letterkenny, is a former mayor of county Donegal. Cllr Brogan had been appointed Mayor of Donegal seven days prior to the incident.
He is a former mayor of the now defunct Letterkenny Town Council.
Garda Stephen Moyles told the court that he was on mobile patrol at 11.40pm when he responded to a report of a car parked in the middle of the road with its lights on and its engine running.
When he arrived he found a silver Toyota Avensis parked in a dangerous manner in the middle of a narrow road.
When he approached the car he found a man asleep with his arms folded. Garda Moyles said he recognised the man as Ciaran Brogan. He opened the door and turned the engine off and removed the keys.
He said he detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor coming from the car.
Garda Moyles said he tried to rouse the suspect. This took a couple of minutes.
Brogan was startled and Garda Moyles said he must have had his foot on the brake as the car rolled back and collided with the Garda patrol car which was parked three to four metres behind.
The garda said Brogan was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred.
When the garda asked Brogan to get into the patrol car, he said he became verbally abusive and said, “who the f*** are you?”
Garda Moyles said Brogan repeatedly said “let me go”, and became more aggressive and irate.
The garda said he put handcuffs on the suspect and called for assistance.
The suspect was taken to Letterkenny garda station where a blood sample was taken.
The sample returned a reading of 244 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
Under cross examination from solicitor Kieran O’Gorman for Brogan, Garda Moyles said he believed it was the suspect’s intention to further drive the vehicle.
Mr O'Gorman submitted to Judge Paul Kelly that there was no factual evidence that the accused intended to drive the vehicle.
Judge Kelly said the prima facie evidence of his intention to drive could be inferred from the circumstances in which the gardaí found him.
Noting that Brogan “was almost three times over the legal limit”, Judge Kelly imposed a €400 fine and disqualified him from driving for three years.