A pregnant woman who led gardaí on a high-speed car chase while two young children sat in the back of the car without seatbelts will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Eileen Ryan (26) pleaded guilty to driving in the presence of unrestrained children in a manner risking serious harm or death, at locations between Brookview Road and Cheeverstown Road in west Dublin on March 25th, 2018.
She also admitted to dangerous driving at Old Bawn Road and driving without insurance at Cheeverstown Road on the same date.
Ryan further pleaded guilty to refusing to permit a designated doctor to take blood samples at Tallaght Garda station on the same occasion.
The court heard that Ryan, with an address at Hazel Hill, Tallaght, Dublin, was six months pregnant at the time of the offences.
Giving evidence on Thursday, Garda Michael Brisbane said he was in a patrol car on the day when he spotted a car exiting St Aidan’s halting site at speed.
The garda told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that he activated his blue lights and sirens but the car failed to stop.
Garda Brisbane said he pursued the car around the Tallaght area, unaware that there were children in the back, and observed it breaking red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving at speeds of over 120 km/h.
He said the car swerved in and out of traffic and back and forth over the continuous white line, driving in an erratic manner with no consideration for other road users.
The court heard that at one point people in the car started throwing glass bottles out the window at the garda car, causing it to swerve.
Elsewhere the car stopped at the back of Hazel Hill halting site and a man jumped out of the front passenger seat and ran off.
When the car eventually stopped, Ryan was abusive to gardaí, who described her as smelling of alcohol with slurred speech and glassy eyes. Gardaí observed two children in the back seat, aged two and five; neither of whom were wearing seat belts.
Ryan was brought to Tallaght Garda station where she refused to give blood samples. She has four previous District Court convictions, including failure to comply with a garda and threatening a garda.
Cathal McGreal BL, defending, said his client was genuinely remorseful for her actions and very concerned about the outcome of the case. He said she was currently an outpatient at a psychiatric facility and was on heavy medication for depression.
He said that on the day in question Ryan had been at a christening, sharing a bottle of wine with a female friend, when a man arrived and insisted that she drive him somewhere.
She told gardaí that she had felt under pressure to drive.
Mr McGreal said his client was one of 13 surviving siblings from a very traditional, rural family.
She met her husband at a horse fair in 2012, the court heard, and later struggled to adjust to life in Dublin.
Counsel said Ryan initially would not take medication for depression but was now relatively stable.
Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned the case for sentencing in October pending the preparation of a probation report.