A MOTORIST who had been drinking at a party ended up mounting his car on a pavement and hitting the Michael Collins statue in Clonakilty town.
At Clonakilty District Court last week, Boleslaw Masalski (65), originally from Poland, of Flat 4, 26 Ashe Street, Clonakilty pleaded guilty to drink driving following the incident.
Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on August 30th last following a report gardaí were on patrol in the town and went to the scene of a road traffic incident.
‘A car had mounted the footpath on Edward Twomey Street and then hit the Michael Collins statue,’ said Sgt Kelly.
‘Gardaí spoke to the driver who noticed that his speech was slurred and that there was a strong smell of alcohol from him.
‘They arrested him at 8.45pm and took him to Bandon Garda Station.’
The court heard the defendant gave two breath specimens which showed a reading of 121mcgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath which carries a three-year disqualification.
‘Apart from bumping into the statue of our great hero, were there any mitigating factors?’ asked Judge James McNulty.
‘I take it the statue wasn’t badly damaged or toppled over.’
Sgt Kelly said he was not aware of any long term damage to the statue. He said that Mr Masalski’s driving had been erratic.
The court heard that the defendant has two previous convictions for minor public order offences.
Mr Masalski’s solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client, who has been living in Ireland for almost 15 years and has an Irish driving licence.
He said that he doesn’t drink normally and had been at a party on the night of the incident.
‘He hadn’t drank in two years and went to the party and drank at it and he apologises for this,’ said Mr Murphy.
‘He is in receipt of a pension and was on a HAP payment.
‘He is also sending some money back to his family in his native Poland.’
Judge McNulty disqualified the defendant from driving for three years. The judge also convicted and fined him €100.