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16 Aug 2022

Urlingford driver ‘appears to lack understanding’

no insurance or driving licence

Urlingford driver ‘appears to lack understanding’

An Urlingford woman who repeatedly ignored the requirement to insure her car, was given a suspended sentence and fined at Thurles District Court.

Sgt Andrew Lyons told Judge Elizabeth MacGrath that Martina O’Connell, of the Mill Road, Urlingford, was stopped at the Togher road, Urlingford, on January 31, and a lawful demand was made of her to produce her driving documents. She failed to produce a driving licence or insurance.

Ms O’Connell was stopped at Graine, Urlingford, on October 10 this year; at Warrenstown, Johnstown, on May 4, 2017; at Borris, Two-Mile-Borris, on June 21, 2017; and at the New Road, Urlingford, on April 26, 2018. On each occasion, Ms O’Connell failed to produce a driving licence or insurance.

On June 21, 2017, Judge MacGrath heard that the garda involved was manning a check point, when he heard a bang on the road. Ms O’Connell’s airbag had gone off. She failed to produce after a lawful demand was made for driving documents.

Ms O’Connell has eight previous convictions. Solicitor Colin Morrissey said Ms O’Connell has not driven since a previous driving ban was imposed. Mr Morrissey said he had told his client she may in jeopardy of a custodial sentence from the court. Ms O’Connell (34) has four children, and nobody in her household is a driver, which is at the “root of her difficulties.” Ms O’Connell left school at 16, failed her driving theory test three times, and is now doing a course to obtain employment in healthcare. “There was a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the offences,” said Mr Morrissey. “

There are no vehicles registered to her. “She had taken a loan of a vehicle now and again,” added Morrissey, who asked the court to not impose a custodial sentence. Ms O'Connell had been given a “serious warning.”

“There appears to be a lack of understanding. She has shown an ability to fully be aware of where she is heading if she does not learn very quickly,” said Mr Morrissey.

Judge MacGrath imposed fines totalling €500, and disqualified Ms O'Connell from driving for three periods of four years each.

Ms O'Connell was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for two years on condition she enter into a Section 99 bond of €250. All the other matters were taken into account. The judge told Ms O'Connell: “if you commit offences within that period, you will come back and serve that sentence.”

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