A motorist was told by Judge Patricia Harney he would not get any special treatment in Clonmel District Court just because he was a member of an ethnic minority.
Before the court was John Reilly, 12 Raheen Court, Clonmel who pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and careless driving on June 13 at Tivoli Road, Powerstown, Clonmel.
Reilly was sentenced to one month in prison on a no insurance charge.
He was fined €500 on a careless driving charge and fined €50 for having no driving licence.
Sgt Carol O’Leary said at approximately quarter to eleven on June 13, John Reilly was observed by a patrol car driving in an erratic manner.
The car John Reilly was driving was veering to the left and right in front of the garda patrol car.
Further on the car approached a bridge which has a one way traffic system in place and broke a red light to continue his journey over the bridge.
A motorist coming in the opposite direction had to take evasive action to avoid the car the defendant was driving.
The defendant had six previous convictions. Judge Harney said the driver seemed to have a lack of awareness of what he was doing as he was veering left and right in front of a patrol car and with the patrol car still behind him the driver decided to break a red light to go over a bridge.
Judge Harney was handed in a testimonial letter by Mr Eamon Hayes, solicitor, who was representing the defendant.
After reading the letter Judge Harney said the defendant now had three convictions for driving without insurance and she did not think that being a member of an ethnic minority entitled him to be treated any differently than anybody else.
“This is his third conviction for no insurance. This is outrageous and I am not going to allow him get away with it,” said Judge Harney.
Eamon Hayes asked Judge Harney if she would consider suspending the one month imprisonment sentence.
Judge Harney said she would not consider that.
“I will not do that. This is too, too serious.
“He was treated fairly before in the courts and he did not get the message,” said Judge Harney.