Limerick motorcyclist banned for speeding at 180 km/p/h while on learner permit

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Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

A TWO year driving ban has been imposed on a Limerick motorcyclist who was detected speeding at more than 180km/p/h on the Limerick to Galway motorway while on a learner’s permit.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Mary Larkin said that Brian Gibson (33) of Oakleighwood, Dooradoyle, had shown “no regard for his own life or consequences for his own health” while driving at over 180kmph at Carrigoran on the M18 motorway on April 9.

Convicting him of dangerous driving  and imposing a mandatory two year driving ban with a fine of €400, Judge Larkin told Mr Gibson: “Driving at over 180kmph, if you hit a wall or clipped a car, you would be dead.”

Garda Sarah Durack of Henry Street Garda Station, Limerick said that Mr Gibson’s driving was “absolutely reckless and so dangerous” on the date.

She was pursuing Mr Gibson in an unmarked patrol car as he increased his speed along the dual carriageway and motorway at around 11.30am.

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She explained that the speed patrol was mounted “as we had a number of road fatalities in Limerick throughout the year to date and the weekend before a motorcyclist was killed in an accident”.

After she activated the sirens and lights, Mr Gibson came to a halt safely at Carrigoran near Newmarket on Fergus.

She said: “I asked Mr Gibson why he was driving at extremely dangerous high speed. He had no excuse or reason for the high speed”.

Garda Durack said that Mr Gibson’s Kawasaki motorcycle was weaving in and out of traffic on the motorway as it picked up speed.

Solicitor for Mr Gibson, Tara Godfrey put it to Garda Durack that her client “was in complete control of his vehicle at all times”.

Garda Durack responded: “He was travelling at such high speed, I can’t see how he could have control.”

In evidence, Mr Gibson accepted that he was speeding but denied that his driving was dangerous and that he was weaving in and out of traffic.

“I accept I was speeding when I overtook the cars. The road was clear ahead and I accelerated on, I accept that.”

He couldn’t say how fast he was going and added that he was not an inexperienced motor-cyclist.

Ms Godfrey argued that the State case had not met the threshold of a dangerous driving case as there was no accident or no near miss that would often be a feature of dangerous driving cases.

Sgt Aiden Lonergan said that Mr Gibson had 14 previous convictions, mainly for road offences, that included a four year driving ban from 2014 when he was convicted for attempting to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

On request from Ms Godfrey, Judge Larkin deferred the two year ban to next February as Mr Gibson is in the process of emigrating.