Three Irish Travellers have been convicted of dangerous driving in Sligo following an incident of horse racing - also known as sulky racing - on the N4 between Sligo and Dublin in 2010. Sligo District Court judge Kevin Kilrane slammed the practice of sulky racing as well as its fans.
The Irish Examiner reports on the conviction that has been years in the making. Video that was posted on YouTube (see below) provided enough evidence of the incident of the race between Limerick Lady and Duck Filly, flanked by vehicles almost four abreast on the road.
Judge Kilrane said of the activity of sulky racing and its fans that "think they are a law unto themselves".
"It’s medieval," he added. "They did not know or did not care who else was on this busy road or who else could have been seriously injured or even worse."
Hughie McGinley, of Ballyfree, Sligo, and Martin J Sweeney, of Crozon Crescent, Sligo, were convicted of dangerous driving, while Winnie Sweeney, of Lahinch, Hollymount, Co Mayo, was convicted of withholding information from gardaí about the incident. All three of the accused pled guilty to their crimes.
The Irish Examiner reports that McGinley was fined €300 and banned from driving for a year, while Martin J Sweeney was convicted of dangerous driving and ordered to come up with €1,500 by May 31 if he wanted to keep his driving licence.
Defense solicitor for the accused McGinley and Winnie Sweeney, Gerry McGovern said his clients would have to realise the highways of Ireland were not meant for this type of activity. He said Winnie Sweeney had withheld information through fear.
Check out the video of the race from 2010 here: