Judge Marian O’Leary
BEING caught without insurance “once is forgivable but three times…” said Judge Marian O’Leary in Kilmallock Court.
Patrick Mulvihill, aged 34, of Forest View, Kilfinane pleaded guilty to three counts of no insurance.
Garda Niall McInerney gave evidence of stopping Mr Mulvihill three times at the same location in two months.
“On November 23, 2016, I was on routine patrol on Main Street, Kilfinane. I observed Mr Mulvihill driving. I was aware he was disqualified at the time.
“He admitted at the scene he had no insurance or driving licence. He said it was a ‘last resort’ that he drove. He said he had to go to the shop for his daughter,” said Garda McInerney.
On December 11, 2016, the garda stopped Mr Mulvihill while driving. He offered “no excuse”.
“On January 21, 2017, I saw him stopped at a junction. On seeing me he raised his hands and gave an apologetic gesture,” said Garda McInerney, who added that Mr Mulvihill had two previous convictions for no insurance.
Brendan Gill, solicitor for Mr Mulvihill, put it to Garda McInerney that his client never tried to evade gardai. “No, he never tried to hide,” said Garda McInerney.
Mr Gill said: “Are you aware he has an underlying condition that he received treatment for?”. “Yes,” said the garda.
Regarding the three no insurance summonses, Mr Gill said, “It’s not good”.
“He is 34. He has four children in Kilfinane and one in Kerry that he endeavours to see regularly. His financial situation is very poor. The vehicle has been disposed of. It is no longer available to him. He is fully aware of the seriousness,” said Mr Gill.
The solicitor said his client was in “a very bad place” at the time of the incidents.
“He has received treatment which has made him fully realise his actions,” said Mr Gill.
Judge Marian O’Leary said: “Once is forgivable but three times..”
She continued: “The only reason I am not sending you to jail is the mitigation of your solicitor Mr Gill.”
Judge O’Leary fined Mr Mulvihill €400, disqualified him from driving for six years and handed down a suspended four month sentence on the first no insurance count.
For the second one, the judge fined him €400, put him off the road for seven years and ordered he do 200 hours of community service in lieu of four months in prison.
Judge O’Leary adjourned sentencing on the third no insurance count for a year. Mr Mulvihill was also fined €150 for no driving licence and €150 for non display of tax disc.