A bachelor farmer from Co. Kerry is on the the lookout for a summer romance after a judge allowed him time to find “a nice woman” before suspending his driving license.
John O’Shea, 60, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha pleaded guilty to drunk driving and being involved in a single-vehicle incident on July 25, 2014. However, he has been given until December 8, 2016, to put his affairs in order and hopefully meet a woman at the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival before being taken off the roads.
Living in an extremely isolated part of the country, O’Shea, his legal team argued, would be at a great disadvantage if taken off the road immediately, jeopardizing the maintenance of his farm and livelihood.
Although caught driving at almost four times the legal limit, O’Shea will continue to drive until the end of this year, allowing him to secure a means of maintaining his cattle during a three-year driving ban.
Traveling six miles from his home to Waterville on the day of the incident, O’Shea became wrapped up talk about football, drank too much and crashed his car into a ditch on his journey back. The farmer also mentioned he had forgotten to eat that day.
With an alcohol-blood reading of 198 mg per 100 ml--the legal limit is 50 mg per 100 ml--O’Shea should receive an immediate three-year ban.
His solicitor John O’Dwyer told the court, however, that suspending the sentence until after the summer would allow the Kerry farmer to travel to Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival in Co. Clare and find a woman who would help him sort his affairs.
Stating that religion, games or politics should not be discussed in pubs, Judge James O’Connor asked O’Shea if he had planned to stay single or get married and inquired if he had family in the neighborhood.
On learning that O’Shea’s family lived in Cork and that he planned to travel to the matchmaking festival, the judge granted the adjournment of the ban, claiming it was not the intention of the state to prevent people from making a livelihood.
The decision was quickly criticized, however.
Chairperson of the Irish Road Victims Association Donna Rice asked, “What planet is this judge living on?”
“For a judge to give a priority to the care of cows over the protection of our families and children going about their daily business shows how out of touch he is with the reality faced by the hundred of families left with seriously injured loved ones, and family members killed, by drunk drivers.”
We think what he’s really looking for is a maid, not a wife.
Sometimes I think Kerry is the Florida of Ireland. Spectacularly beautiful, and just a little nuts. https://t.co/mc3d3AVvc6— Louise McSharry (@louisemcsharry) June 10, 2016
H/T: The Irish Times