Judge warns: ‘I don’t want you driving’

Portlaoise courthouse.

Portlaoise courthouse.

“I don’t want you driving,” was Judge John Coughlan’s warning last week, to a 21-year-old man put off the road for 20 years after being convicted of his fifth no insurance offence.

Arthur O’Brien was arrested in Tralee on July 2, after being caught driving a silver BMW without a driving licence or insurance.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly said he had 28 previous convictions, among them four for no insurance and one for drink driving.

“Why does he continue driving without insurance?” asked Judge Coughlan. “Unless I get a good explanation he’s going to jail.”

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said on the day O’Brien was taking one of his children to Crumlin Hospital.

“What’s the reason on the other days?” asked the judge.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that on the first occasion O’Brien was insured but did not produce the cert; the next two times he thought he was insured; and the fourth is under appeal.

Judge Coughlan disqualified him for 30 years and fined him €500, remarking that it was only Ms Fitzpatrick’s excellent mitigation that was saving him from prison.


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