Disqualifications lifted but fines go up at circuit court

A Durrow man who was disqualified from driving after crashing his car into a fence had the driving ban lifted at Portlaoise Circuit Court.

A Durrow man who was disqualified from driving after crashing his car into a fence had the driving ban lifted at Portlaoise Circuit Court.

Darragh Murphy, Laurel Lodge, Dunmore, Durrow, was fined €300 in Portlaoise District Court and put off the road for two years, after being convicted of dangerous driving at Colt Cross, Portlaoise, on March 23, 2013.

State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne told the recent circuit court that Murphy failed to take a turn and collided with a fence, crashing the car.

Defence, Mr Frank Taaffe said that Murphy wished to appeal the disqualification, as he is a transport manager and needs his licence for work.

“The loss of his licence means the loss of his job,” said Mr Taaffe, adding that there were no injuries incurred and no other vehicle involved in the incident.

Mr Taaffe said the State was now prepared to reduce the charge to careless driving, to which Murphy was entering a plea of guilty.

Judge Petria McDonnell increased the original fine to €450 and agreed to lift the driving disqualification.

In a separate case during the same sitting of the circuit court, a Clare man had a driving disqualification for speeding lifted.

Patrick Sexton, O’Connors Pub, Fisher Street, Doolin, Co. Clare, was previously fined €300 and disqualified from driving for one year, after he was convicted of driving at 185km/h in a 120km zone, at the M7, Cappakeel, Portlaoise.

Mr Dunne told the circuit court that Sexton had “one or two minor” previous convictions, including holding a mobile phone while driving.

“Holding a mobile phone is no longer minor,” observed Judge McDonnell.

Defence for Sexton, barrister Mr Rory Hanniffy said Sexton had failed to attend the district court on two occasions to meet the charge, as his life had been in turmoil at the time. As he didn’t turn up, the district court judge imposed a driving disqualification, which Sexton was now appealing.

Mr Hanniffy said Sexton is a publican who needs his licence for work.

Judge McDonnell agreed to life the disqualification, but increased the fine to €450.