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Irish boxing champ accused of driving the wrong way down M1 while drunk

By Paul Higgins

Published 16/10/2015

Jim McKee at Dungannon Magistrates Court
Jim McKee at Dungannon Magistrates Court

A former Irish boxing champion turned artist has appeared in court accused of driving the wrong way on a motorway while drunk.

Standing in the dock of Dungannon Magistrates Court, 45-year-old Jim McKee spoke only to confirm that he understood the three charges against him.

McKee, originally from Cookstown but now living in Abbey West, Bell Harbour in Co Clare, is charged with drink driving, driving dangerously on the M1 motorway in Coalisland and causing a vehicle to stop and remain on the hard shoulder of the motorway on 20 September this year.

The charges arise following reports of a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction on the M1 motorway around 6am on Sunday, 20 September.

Reports at the time said police were keen to speak to anyone who witnessed a black Hyundai vehicle travelling in the wrong direction on the country bound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 15 Dungannon and Junction 14 Tamnamore around 6am on Sunday, 20 September.

They are particularly keen to speak to the driver of a white box lorry that was driving on the city bound carriageway of the motorway around this time.

In court today (fri) a police constable said she was aware of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations and she believed she could connect McKee to the charges.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that "a decision has been made and the matter" and asked for the case to be listed again in two weeks time.

Releasing McKee on continuing Beale, District Judge Bernie Kelly ordered him to come back on 30 October "for attitude."

According to his Facebook page, McKee was all Ireland boxing champion in 1987 and 1989, but is now described as a "renaissance man" who is a singer, songwriter, musician and artist.

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