Speeding conviction appealed for vet in a rush to treat a cut horse

The vet made the argument that there is no luxury of ambulances for injured animals

Mountmellick speed increase 'madness'

A horse vet based in Kildare who claimed he was “trying to put a fire out” by breaking the speed limit to get to a client with a badly cut racehorse has been allowed to appeal a conviction for speeding.

Before the recent sitting of Portlaoise Circuit Court was Marcus Swail (47), with an address in Feighcullen, Athy.

State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne gave evidence that the appellant was detected driving at 153km/h in a 120km zone, on the M7 on March 11, 2016.

He was subsequently fined €100 for speeding, at Portlaoise District Court.

At the recent appeal in the circuirt court, barrister, Ms Louise Troy said it was a penalty points issue for her client, who was asking the court to deal with the matter in another way.

She said the matter had incurred five penalty points.

Ms Troy said the appellant was a vet and on the day of the offence he had been called to attend at a farm to deal with a racehorse.

The horse had suffered a very serious cut and had been bleeding. The situation was effectively an emergency, said defence.

Judge Keenan Johnson asked had he not explained this to the gardaí when he was stopped, to which Ms Troy replied that he had not explained this at the time.

Taking the witness box, the appellant said he is a horse vet based in Kildare.

He told the court that on the day he had received a call from a client to attend to a horse that had sustained a cut during exercise.

“It was a bad cut and the horse was bleeding heavily, it was a fairly grave emergency,” said the appellant.

He went on to say that the nature of his job means that most jobs are elective, “but occasionally I’m trying to put a fire out”.

He went on to say that he was trying to do the best for his client and there was no luxury of ambulances for injured animals.

Judge Johnson told the appellant that he appreciated he was doing serious work, but he still had to abide by the law.

The judge allowed the appeal.

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