19 Aug 2022

Tipperary coast guard volunteer got a speeding ticket on way to 999 call out

Court dismisses case involving emergency dash

Tipperary coast guard volunteer got a speeding ticket on way to 999 call out

An Irish Coast Guard volunteer had his speeding case dismissed because he was on his way to an emergency

A volunteer member of the Irish Coast Guard who was on his way to an emergency had a speeding summons struck out at Nenagh Court.

Damien Madden of Derrybeg, Ballina, Tipperary, was summonsed for travelling at 71km/h in a 50km/h at Ardcroney, Nenagh, on July 27, 2018.

He had been caught on a speed camera.

Mr Madden, who pleaded not guilty, told the court that he had received an emergency call that someone was in difficulty in the River Shannon at Shannonbridge in County Offaly.

He was in work in Limerick but there was not other rescue service available on the day with a boat ready to launch from a trailer.

He went to the Irish Coast Guard site at Killaloe at drove the rescue service’s van with the boat on a trailer to the emergency location.

“I am aware of the speed at Ardcroney. There was no traffic and the road was clear,” he said.

However, he was also conscious that a craft had run aground and that the weather could change at any time, even on a good day.

“I was the only officer available to respond to the emergency call,” he said.

Mr Madden said they responded to every 999 call. While Lough Derg RNLI was based in Dromineer, they would have to launch by water and navigate the locks to get to Shannonbridge.

He told the court that while an attempt was made to cancel the ticket, the fines office would not cancel it because there had been no risk to life.

The Irish Coast Guard does not have an exemption under the road traffic laws for exceeding the speed limit.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath struck out the summons.

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