A judge has released
a chronic alcoholic charged with drink driving, into
the care of his 'very brave' daughter in Buncrana.
Judge Desmond Zaidan described Kerry Doherty, 7
Summerhill, Buncrana, as a 'very brave woman' to
stand by her father, John Doherty, despite the fact
she had two small children to look after.
In an emotional case, the local court heard that
Doherty, formerly of England, was arrested on
suspicion of drink driving on the outskirts of
Buncrana on May 8th, 2007. He was rearrested the
following day, on a second allegation of drink
During submissions on whether or not the accused
should be remanded in custody, Kerry Doherty took
the stand and testified that her parents, both
alcoholics, were selling their home in England and
had been staying with her for ten weeks prior to the
incident. She said they had 'dried out' and her
father was on medication for a number of health
However, they 'relapsed' the weekend prior to the
alleged drink driving incidents and following a big
argument, she and her husband "kicked them out" of
The defendant and his wife were staying at a local
hotel at the time of his arrest, the court heard.
Ms. Doherty said that after her parents left, she
found herself "driving around the town, checking for
Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said his
client was a very ill man from whom he had
difficulty getting proper instructions on how to
proceed with the case. He said such was the extent
of his sickness and his dependence on medication, he
would fear for his life if he was detained in
Fighting back tears, Ms. Doherty agreed to take her
father into her care again until the case was
Judge Zaidan stressed that if he was to release the
defendant on bail, he had to safeguard the public.
"If he left here and went out and killed a
pedestrian, where would that leave me as a judge?
Where would that leave me with my conscience as
well?" he asked Mr. MacLochlainn.
At Mr. MacLochlainn's request and with the
defendant's consent - the judge agreed that the keys
of the defendant's car, a Volkswagen Polo, be
surrendered to his daughter. Doherty was remanded on
his own bond of €1,000 and an independent surety of
€500 from his daughter.
The case was adjourned until June 26th, 2007, with a
clearly sympathetic Judge Zaidan urging Ms. Doherty:
"If he steps out of line, you contact the Gardai at