Gardaí found man injured among 22 empty beer cans after Longford pursuit

A man who crashed a car into a wall after a high-speed chase with gardaí in Longford town on Monday was found among 22 empty beer cans, Mullingar District Court has heard.

Sgt Jarlath Nohilly said William Lawrence (35), of Cloncovid, Co Cavan, made no reply to six counts including dangerous driving and driving without insurance and a driver’s licence in relation to the incident on March 22nd.

Sgt Nohilly said gardaí were notified of a suspected drink driver on Monday afternoon. He told Judge Seamus Hughes that Garda Ronan Duffy and Garda John Hanley attempted to intercept the vehicle on St Mel’s Road.

The court heard gardaí pulled up alongside the accused, who was on bail, on the Ballinalee Road. Sgt Nohilly said Garda Duffy exited the patrol car and spoke to the driver, who allegedly mounted a kerb in an attempt to flee.

Garda Hanley, the court heard, then tried to take the keys from the car’s ignition but it began moving forward resulting in the garda’s hand getting caught in the window. The garda was later hospitalised with a suspected broken wrist.

Sgt Nohilly said the officers continued to pursue the accused, who later crashed into the garda patrol car and narrowly avoided colliding with another car before hitting a wall. When gardaí approached the vehicle, they found Mr Lawrence with serious injuries.

“There were also 22 empty cans of Carlsberg found in the car,” he said.

Sgt Nohilly said Mr Lawrence claimed during an interview that he was in Longford to visit his brother . He said Mr Lawrence said he was feeling “a little bit depressed” and began drinking after finding his brother was not at home.

Judge Hughes refused bail and described the episode as the “sort of stuff you see on thriller TV”. He remanded Mr Lawrence in custody to appear before Cloverhill District Court next Tuesday.

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