MOTORISTS who are disqualified from driving are being warned they face the prospect of going to prison if they continue to drive.
Judge Eugene Oâ€™Kelly issued the warning at Limerick Court following the case of a man who was caught driving while disqualified in the city centre earlier this year.
Barry Fitzgerald, aged 23, of Assumpta Park, Island Road admitted driving while he was disqualified at Mungret Street on July 23, last.
Garda Laura Egan said the defendant, who was stopped at a checkpoint near the Milk Market, didnâ€™t have insurance or a driving licence when he was stopped.
Sgt Donal Cronin said Fitzgerald was disqualified from driving at the time and he said it was his third conviction for driving without insurance.
Garda Egan agreed with Solicitor Sarah Ryan that Fitzgerald had been â€œpolite and courteousâ€ with her after he was stopped and that there was nothing untoward about his driving.
Ms Ryan said her client had borrowed the car from a friend on the night and that he has since bought a bicycle as he knows he â€œwonâ€™t be driving again for some timeâ€.
Ms Ryan said her client - a father-of-three - is â€œby and large a decent young fellaâ€ and she asked the court to â€œgive him one more chanceâ€.
She added that Fitzgerald has made himself â€œuninsurableâ€.
Judge Oâ€™Kelly disqualified the defendant from driving for seven years saying if he drives again before his 30th birthday he will go to prison. â€œThis is the last time he gets a chance from me,â€ he said.
The judge added that motorists who are disqualified will have to face the consequences if they are caught driving.
â€œPeople will just have to realise that if a court imposes a ban, they have to observe it, the only other option is prison,â€ he said.