“Skyscraper” driven by Buncrana man

A Buncrana man, was “driving a skyscraper along the road,” Buncrana District Court has heard.

David McKinney. Ballymagan pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Carnamoyle, Muff, on May 6th, 2014.

The court heard how on that date, Gardai Forrestal and McLoone received a call to Buncrana Garda Station reporting an excessively loaded skip lorry which had pulled down an electricity wire and tree branches.

The complainant, Mr Kevin Cleary, alleged the vehicle, which was loaded with three skips, had driven past his home as his son was playing in the garden. Mr Cleary said he was concerned as an ESB wire had been pulled down outside the house. He stopped the driver, McKinney and asked him to wait, but the 26-year-old drove on. Mr Cleary followed him as he drove up Grainne’s Gap, as did Gardai, who said the load appeared to be “swaying.” McKinney was stopped by Gardai at Carnamoyle and was arrested.

The court heard he has four previous convictions for drink driving and in 2010, he was disqualified from driving for four years. He was not disqualified at the time of detection.

Defence solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher said the case was one of overloading to which Judge Paul Kelly responded that McKinney, who works as a driver in his famiily’s haulage business, was “driving a skyscraper along the road.”

Mr Gallagher responded that legally, McKinney’s vehicle was under the legal limit relating to height restrictions. He said a “protruding article” from one of the skips had pulled down the electricity wire.

Judge Kelly noted McKinney’s previous convictions, adding he “doesn’t seem to be getting the message.” He added it was “fortunate” McKinney was employed by his brother as he couldn’t “see anyone else employing him as a driver what that record.”

Judge Kelly ordered McKinney to undergo a pro-social driving course and pay a contribution of 250 towards it. He also ordered probation and community service reports.