MANY excuses have been heard in Kilmallock Court in relation to non-appearance for speeding fines but the most worthy one must have been last week.
After the GoSafe operator gave evidence of clocking a female motorist exceeding the speed limit the court clerk said: “She contacted the office today to say she could not attend the court as she is being vaccinated for Covid-19. She is a nurse.”
Although you can’t keep the law at arm’s length - the matter was adjourned to a future date.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 was the topic of conversation among most people in Kilmallock Courthouse last Tuesday when strict measures were in place for the first court of the year in the facility under the new Level 5 restrictions.
Numbers in the courtroom are kept to a minimum. The judge, gardai, solicitors, clerk and members of the media can remain present all the time but those before the court are asked to wait outside until their case is called.
But Covid-19 still permeates the room, albeit hopefully not in the air. Everybody in the body of the courtroom wore masks apart from when they were speaking. One solicitor apologised for being a few minutes late due to “dealing with home schooling”.
A 77-year-old couldn’t attend court because they were cocooning. Judge Marian O’Leary was informed a garda hadn’t made a disclosure order because they were self-isolating. A different garda was awaiting a Covid test. A defendant asked to swear an oath was told to place his hand over the bible and not touch it.
Strange times, indeed.