Drink-drive ban shame for Glenavon and Derry star player Eoin Bradley
A GAA and Irish League footballer who admitted driving with almost three times the legal limit of alcohol has been banned from the road for 16 months and fined £725.
Derry and Glenavon star Eoin Bradley (32), of Woodland Park, Kilrea, was in Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to several charges.
Defence solicitor Brendan McLarnon said Bradley had been playing for his GAA club Glenullin on Sunday, February 7 this year and after stopping off at a pub in Garvagh to watch a football match he began drinking before driving home.
Five miles away at Kilrea he hit a parked car as he pulled up, and after getting into a "kerfuffle" with a man in the damaged vehicle he refused to give his identity or details before going into another pub. However, Mr McLarnon said his client was well-known in the area and he was always going to be caught.
In court yesterday Bradley pleaded guilty to charges that at The Diamond in Kilrea he was driving with excess alcohol in his breath, with a reading of 99, which was almost three times the legal limit of 35.
He admitted driving without due care and attention at Coleraine Street in Kilrea when he collided with a parked car and instead of sorting the matter out he went to a pub.
Bradley further pleaded guilty to failing to report and remain at the scene of an accident.
He also admitted other charges relating to August 15 last year regarding use of a mobile phone while driving at The Diamond in Kilrea and failing to produce a driving licence.
The offences of February 7 happened five days before Bradley was sent off while playing for the Lurgan Blues in an Irish League match against Crusaders on Friday February 12, receiving a six-match ban. Bradley is a well-known county player with his native Derry, and is highly rated by fans at Glenavon's Mourneview Park as a goalscorer.
Mr McLarnon said Bradley regretted the events and as a self-employed plasterer and semi-professional soccer player - which requires him driving 120-mile round trips to go to matches and training - there will be a "serious impact" by the loss of his licence arising out of "one afternoon of foolishness".
District Judge Liam McNally said it was a bad case with a number of aggravating features including the high alcohol reading and Bradley's involvement in an accident when he went into a pub rather than meet his responsibilities.
Banning Bradley from driving for a year and four months, for which he will have to resit his test, and imposing fines of £725, he warned him if the fines were not paid on time he could go to jail for a short time.