Cork driver found travelling at twice the speed limit as gardaí mount checkpoints across the country

Over 40,000 vehicles checked in first five hours of National Slow Down Day on Irish roads

A driver in Co Cork was found travelling at twice the legal speed limit on Friday, as gardaí mounted checkpoints all around the country for National Slow Down Day.

In the first five hours of the roads policing operation gardaí had checked the speeds of 41,630 vehicles, and detected 81 travelling in excess of the applicable speed limit, including one on Main Street in Charleville where the driver was travelling at 112km/h in a 50km/h zone.

Some 63 people have lost their lives on Irish roads this year until Friday – up from 49 over the same period last year – and while the long-term trend has been downward from a high of 628 in 1978 to 130 in 2021, the last three years has seen the numbers slowly start to rise again.

Insp Fergus O’Donovan of the Cork County Roads Policing Unit reiterated the message to motorists to slow down as he and colleagues mounted a checkpoint on the Old Cork-Dublin Road, between Rathcormac and Watergrasshill in Co Cork which has already seen five fatalities this year.


“Every time we get in a car, we have an opportunity to choose road safety and if we look in the rear-view mirror and say to ourselves, “Who am I leaving behind?” because you are leaving somebody behind if you are a fatality and families are devastated for their rest of their lives.”

Insp O’Donovan urged people not to avoid garda checkpoints, saying people doing U-turns are putting their own lives and those of others at risk.

“We had a turnaround already here up above this morning – it is a dangerous manoeuvre – sometimes people panic coming up to checkpoints and they might have no reason to panic so we would always say ‘Approach the checkpoint – it’s for your safety and the safety of other drivers’.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times