Eleven convicted by Limerick judge for driving without insurance

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Email:

normap@limerickleader.ie

Does anybody bother to insure themselves in this part of the country? That is what I want to know,” Judge Mary Larkin asked

Does anybody bother to insure themselves in this part of the country? That is what I want to know,” Judge Mary Larkin asked

“DOES anybody bother to insure themselves in this part of the country? That is what I want to know,” Judge Mary Larkin said at Newcastle West court last week where she dealt with 11 cases of driving without insurance.

Abbeyfeale man, Jason Coffey of 15 Radharc na Feile had seven previous convictions for driving without insurance, the court was told when Coffey pleaded to driving without insurance last June 26 at Main St, Abbeyfeale. Pleading for his client, solicitor Brendan Aherne acknowledged his poor record but said he had pleaded at the first opportunity.

He was a father of three, Mr Aherne said, and was in custody on another matter.

The judge described Coffey’s record on no insurance as “egregious” and sentenced him to four months imprisonment with one month suspended, to be served consecutive to the sentence now being served.

In another case,  James O’Sullivan, Knocknagorna, Athea failed to appear in court to answer the charge of driving without insurance at Templeathea last July 11. He was fined €2,000 and disqualified from driving for two years. A charge of driving without a licence was taken into consideration.

Paul Costello, Church St, Glin was also fined €2,000 and disqualified from driving for two years when he too failed to appear in court to answer the charge of driving without insurance at Ballyhahill West last February 2. He was fined a further €300 for driving without a licence, €300 for using a vehicle without an NCT but charges of failing to produce licence and insurance and having no insurance disk displayed were taken into consideration.

Keith O’Donoghue, 45 Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, Limerick was fined €300 and disqualified from driving for six years for driving without insurance at Caheragh, Glin on June 4 last year. He was disqualified from driving at the time, Inspector Alan Cullen said. O’Donoghue, who did not appear in court to face the charges, had three previous convictions for driving without insurance, the inspector said. The defendant was fined a further €300 for driving without a licence but charges of failing to produce licence and insurance and having no tax or insurance displayed were taken into consideration. Recognisance with leave to appeal was fixed at his own cash bond of €250.

Michelle Frost, Balldugh, Abbeyfeale was fined €300 for driving without insurance at Railway Rd, Abbeyfeale last June 30 but a charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration. The court was told that on the day in question, she had gotten a phone call from her babysitter but her partner had drink taken and she had driven home. She was not disqualified.

Jonathan O’Brien, 13 Ash Crescent, Newcastle West was also convicted of driving without insurance at Rathkeale Rd, Adare last August 8. The court was told that O’’Brien had 46 previous convictions and this was his fourth for driving without insurance. Solicitor Sabina Hegarty said he was disqualified from driving at the time of the offence but the case had been heard in his absence and he wasn’t aware he was disqualified. “He believed his previous disqualification was up and he covered to driving under his partner’s open drive policy,” Ms Hegarty said. “He only found out he was not insured when they were stopped.”

The defendant was driving his partner home from hospital at the time. In the normal course of events, it would have been his partner driving.”

“He won’t be making this mistake again,” Judge Larkin said. She asked for a community service suitability report to be prepared, saying she had in mind three months imprisonment or 100 hours in lieu. A charge of driving without a licence was taken into consideration. The case was adjourned to allow the report to be compiled.

Kevin Doody, 2 Corgrigg Woods, Foynes was fined €300 for driving without insurance at Main St, Foynes last April 13 but a charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration. He admitted to gardai he had no insurance at the time and the vehicle was seized. He had insurance up to three or four months before, solicitor Michael O’Donnell pleaded. The car had been parked up but he had driven about 100 yards up the road to the GAA field. “The gardai came across him on his way back,” he said. The car was now gone.

Kruno Kelic, 29 Templegreen, Newcastle West was fined €250 for driving without insurance at Market Yard, Newcastle West last January 11 but he was not disqualified. Solicitor Michael O’Donnell explained his client had put the car together himself but was waiting for documents to come from his native Croatia which would reduce his insurance costs. “He got a quote of €3,500,” Mr O’Donnell said. On the date in question, his client’s girlfriend was “stuck for a lift” at the Devon Inn hotel, he added. But his client had since gotten his full Irish driving licence. A charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration.  

Mary Jane Flaherty, 22 Hillside Drive, Athea was fined €150 and disqualified from driving for two years for driving without insurance at Athea last April 22. Solicitor Karen Carmody said her client had bought the car in March and was on the way to her mother’s house to use the internet to obtain insurance when she was stopped. A charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration.

In another case, a Clare man was fined €250 and disqualified from driving for two years for driving without insurance at Ballybronogue, Patrickswell last May 10. The court heard that Mark Tuohy, Gurrane Cross, Feakle was driving his girlfriend’s mother’s car on the day and believed he was covered by his insurance policy. But, Judge Larkin was told, the terms of his insurance policy, dating from January 2017, had changed and he was not covered.

“My hands are tied,” Judge Larkin said but she allowed recognisance with leave to appeal.  A charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration.

A Carlow woman who had been working in Co Limerick was also convicted of driving without insurance at Ballengland, Lr Askeaton last February 22. The court was told that Rachel Murphy, Newline, Ballymurphy, Borris had allowed her insurance to lapse as she had accommodation with her job, but was sent on an errand by her employer following an accident. She was fined €300 but not disqualified and a charge of failing to produce insurance was taken into consideration.