Gildea was a serving Garda for 35 years. What went Wrong? Many retired Gardai end up Lonely, too often as Alcoholics, and sadly Bitter too. Could it be a troubled conscience?

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Ex-garda drove drunk the wrong way through roundabout as he was pursued by officers

Chris Gildea avoided a prison sentence despite
                  having a 'back catalogue of such offences'

Chris Gildea avoided a prison sentence despite having a ‘back catalogue of such offences’

April 26 2021 02:30 AM

An ex-garda who led police on a dangerous pursuit while he was already serving a 20-year road ban has been warned he will be jailed if he drives again while disqualified.

Chris Gildea, who had served with the force for more than 35 years, appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal.

The court heard Gildea, now 65, is already serving a 20-year road ban that was handed down to him in 2007.

On March 9, 2020, gardai­ were contacted about a car being driven erratically on the dual-carriageway outside Letterkenny.

Officers responded and found a Peugeot 206 car weaving across the road.

The driver then drove through a roundabout on the wrong side of the road.

At least one car had to take evasive action and was almost hit by the speeding driver.

The car picked up speed and was eventually stopped in the Ballyraine, Letterkenny, at Thorndale where gardaí arrested the driver.

Gildea, of Thorndale, Letterkenny, was arrested and taken to Letterkenny Garda station where a reading of 158 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millitres of blood was recorded.

He was charged with dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence and also drunk driving.

Judge Paul Kelly said the accused had a substantial back catalogue of such driving offences in the past.

He noted that because of the previous 20-year ban, it would be 2027 at the earliest before Gildea would be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car again.

Judge Kelly imposed two further four-year driving bans on Gildea but ordered that the bans run concurrently to the one he is already serving.

He also sentenced Gildea to six months in prison but suspended the sentence and fined him a total of £450.

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