A motorist who failed to stop for gardaí drove against one-way traffic in the westbound bore of the Jack Lynch tunnel forcing oncoming cars to take evasive action.
That was the allegation made against a young man accused of 21 counts of dangerous driving and one count of endangerment where he allegedly created a substantial risk of death or serious injury to other road users.
Garda Eoghan O’Callaghan arrested 28-year-old Tony Caulfield of 221 Cathedral Road, Cork, and brought him before Cork District Court on the charges.
Garda O’Callaghan said Caulfield had no reply to the total of 23 counts – the 23rd count was for allegedly driving without insurance - when he was arrested, charged and cautioned.
There was a state objection to the accused being granted bail on the charges.
Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, stressed that the alleged offences dated back to February 25 2021 and that the accused had been available to gardaí to be arrested and charged before now.
Garda O’Callaghan said Tony Caulfield was arrested on November 18 when members of the garda armed support unit spotted a motorist wearing a balaclava in the early hours of Thursday.
Mr Buttimer objected to this evidence and said it was completely irrelevant to the charges before the court which all related to February 25.
Garda O’Callaghan said one of the grounds for the objection to bail was the seriousness of the alleged offences on February 25.
It was alleged that gardaí in Ballincollig signalled for a Toyota Avensis car to stop in the area after midnight on that night/early morning but that it took off at speed.
It was alleged that there were numerous incidents of dangerous driving as the car was driven dangerously and without lights and travelled to the Dunkettle roundabout where maintenance works at the tunnel had the westbound bore of the tunnel closed for several hours.
Garda O’Callaghan alleged that the Avensis was driven the wrong way down the eastbound bore and continued on the South Link until the exit for Curraheen when officers lost sight of the car.
Sergeant Pat Lyons indicated to Judge Olann Kelleher that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the case should proceed by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Kelleher refused to grant Caulfield bail and remanded him in custody for one week at Cork District Court to allow time for preparation and service of a book of evidence. The defendant’s next court appearance will be by video link from prison on that occasion.