Man jailed for six months for “inexcusable” driving behaviour

A man who went on a driving rampage in West Donegal earlier this month has been jailed for six months.

24-year-old Martin McClelland drove for more than 20 kilometres at speeds of up to 130kph as he tried to shake off Gardai after stealing a car in Doochary.

The court was told McClelland  passed out dozens of motorists on continuous white lines in horrific weather conditions putting many other driver’s lives at risk during the pursuit on June 8th last.

Many other drivers coming in the opposite direction were forced to swerve to avoid him and he swerved across both sides of the road with his hazard lights on.

McClelland drove into the busy town of Glenties at 125kph as dozens of students were travelling to schools for the first day of their xxaminations

He then travelled onto the Glen Road at 8.25am at speeds of up to 90kph past a crèche where parents were leaving toddlers off to playschool.

Gardai, who had set up a checkpoint in a bid to stop the manic motorist, also had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit after McClelland continued at break-neck speeds.

A couple of minutes later he lost control of the car and ended up in a ditch. He escaped on foot but was captured by pursuing Gardai.

When brought to the local Garda station in Glenties, it was discovered that McClelland was not under the influence of either drink or drugs.

Judge Paul Kelly said  Mr McClelland’s behaviour was inexcusable.

He sentenced McClelland to six months imprisonment for dangerous driving, fined him €350 for failing to stop for Gardai and took a number of other charges into consideration.