JUDGE James McNulty heard at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court that a GAA club’s training outing to Kinsale could have turned into a major road traffic accident.
Scott Callanan (27) was a passenger on a 50-seater bus, returning from a training session in Kinsale with 20 of his teammates, when he placed an empty black plastic bag over the head of the driver, causing him to brake violently, resulting in another passenger being thrown forward into the windscreen.
The incident took place on Saturday July 7th 2017 at 11.25pm on July 14, on the Eastern Road in Kinsale, as the members of St Finbarr’s hurling club were returning to Cork city following a training session in Kinsale.
The court heard that Callanan, who was not training with his teammates on this occasion, had gone drinking that day and while he made a full admission and co-operated fully with the gardaí, he had no recollection of incident.
Callanan’s solicitor, Diarmuid O’Shea, said that his client was extremely sorry for his actions.
Mr O’Shea said that as part of the senior hurling team, Callanan had not had a drink for over nine months because of his training commitments, and, as he was injured on the day and could not train, he had taken drink. On the day the incident took place, he ‘cut loose’ and was deeply sorry, Mr O’Shea said.
A former plasterer, Callanan, whose mother died two years ago, and is now a full-time carer for his father who has had a stroke, said he was deeply sorry for what he did.
Judge McNulty said that this was a highly irresponsible act that could have been extremely serious for everyone on the bus that day.
The judge said that while a custodial sentence was almost warranted in this case, he must take into consideration the fact that Callanan was a full-time carer for his father and therefore community service was also not an option.
Judge McNulty fined the accused €1,000, to be paid by Thursday December 20th. He added that if the fine was paid in full on this date, the incident would be dealt with as a fine-only verdict.