Town star loses appeal against ban

IPSWICH Town star George O'Callaghan has lost his appeal against a drink driving conviction.The 26-year-old midfielder, who joined the Blues last season from Cork City, argued he was held too long at an Irish police station after he was arrested for drink driving three years ago.

IPSWICH Town star George O'Callaghan has lost his appeal against a drink driving conviction.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who joined the Blues last season from Cork City, argued he was held too long at an Irish police station after he was arrested for drink driving three years ago.

He had claimed this was partly because of a delay in finding a container into which he could give a urine sample after being arrested on October 13, 2004.

But Judge Patrick Moran refused the appeal, meaning O'Callaghan, of Lisduff, Whitechurch, County Cork, will now start his two-year driving ban and must pay a e300 fine.

O' Callaghan, currently on loan at League One side Brighton, is not, however, banned from driving in England.

Defence barrister Donal O'Sullivan said the appeal was based on the submission that O'Callaghan was detained for too long at the Bridewell Garda Station following his arrest for drink driving and that this was a breach of his constitutional right to liberty.

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He said the gardai were not responsible for all of the delays but could be specifically blamed for 59 minutes of the total time O'Callaghan spent in custody.

Mr O'Sullivan said O'Callaghan should have been asked if he had asthma before being required to blow into the breathalyser in the station.

He said O'Callaghan was unable to provide the sustained breath required and eventually told the sergeant in charge he had asthma.

When the player then opted to give a urine sample instead, none of the jugs required for taking such a sample was available and one had to be brought from another station, accounting for 23 more minutes.

But Judge Moran ruled against the defence on both arguments.

O'Callaghan's blood sample showed he had 201mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood. The legal limit in Ireland and the UK is 80mgs.

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