Farmer pulled over by Limerick gardai had his dead twin’s driver’s licence

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Garda Hallett told Limerick District Court the trailer was in poor condition and that the bales were not properly secured.

Garda Hallett told Limerick District Court the trailer was in poor condition and that the bales were not properly secured.

A FARMER who was pulled over by Limerick gardai over an improperly secured load on his trailer was using the licence of his twin brother who had passed away a number of months earlier.

Patrick Buckley, aged 61, who has an address at Buttevant Road, Churchtown, County Cork, admitted to Kilmallock court that he has not held a driving licence for more than 20 years.

Mr Buckley pleaded guilty to several road traffic charges relating to an incident on February 28, 2017.

Garda Dermot Hallett of the divisional roads policing unit said while operating a checkpoint at Deebert, Kilmallock he stopped the defendant who was driving a while van and towing “a large number of bales of hay” in a single-axle trailer.

Garda Hallett told Limerick District Court the trailer was in poor condition and that the bales were not properly secured.

“The trailer and method were not suitable to transport hay,” he said submitting photographs of the trailer and bales to the court.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told that having been stopped, Mr Buckley produced a driving licence which gardai later established, belonged to his twin brother who had died a number of months earlier.

Solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client, who has two previous convictions for road traffic offences, had “let himself down very badly” and had “panicked as much as anything” when stopped on the day.

He told the court that Mr Buckley, who has a small farm, “operates on an old school basis” and that he did not think there was any malice in his actions.

Having consulted his client, Mr McCarthy confirmed he has not held a driving licence of his own for “at least 20 years” while Mr Buckley commented “we are identical” - a reference to the photograph of his brother on the driving licence he produced to gardai.

Having heard details of the offence and noting that Mr Buckley was previously convicted of driving with a licence, Judge O’Leary accused him of having “scant regard” for the road traffic laws.

“How long did he think he would get away with it?” she asked adding: “I have a responsibility, I am very close to disqualifying him.”

However, the judge said was willing to give the defendant a chance to get a driving licence and adjourned the matter to January 2019.

In doing so, she warned Mr Buckley he will be put off the road if he has not passed the driving test by then.

The defendant was also ordered to surrender his brother’s driving licence to gardai so that it can be destroyed.