A Portlaoise man with 179 previous convictions has been given community service in lieu of prison, having been convicted of his 12th offence of driving without a licence or insurance.
Alan McDonagh (32), 368 Market Mews, Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, was charged with no licence or insurance, at Coote Street, Portlaoise, on March 12 this year.
Inspector Jer Glavin said the accused had 179 previous convictions, including 11 for no licence and 11 for no insurance.
Defence for the accused admitted McDonagh had a very substantial criminal record, but said the last conviction for road traffic matters was in 2010.
Defence said the accused had served a prison sentence and had not come to garda attention since his release, apart from the current charges.
Defence said the car had been purchased for the accused’s partner, who was learning to drive. The accused bought the car and drove a short distance across town.
Addressing the court himself, the accused said he had been disqualified from driving in 2010, but he thought that disqualification was up.
Judge Catherine Staines imposed 150 hours’ community service in lieu of three months in jail.
She warned the accused he was disqualified from driving until 2020, unless he applied for his licence back.