06 Jul 2022

Laois Offaly district judge tells elderly driver charity donation cannot replace penalty points

Tullamore courthouse

Charitable donation from driver not accepted at Tullamore District Court

JUDGE Patricia Cronin said she could not accept a donation to charity in a case where a court conviction would result in the imposition of penalty points.

She was commenting when Edward Sheeran, Killavalley, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath, pleaded guilty to speeding in Tullamore last year.

Sandra Mahon, Offaly state solicitor, said Mr Sheeran was detected driving a 211 registered vehicle at 83kph in a 50kph zone on the Arden Road in Tullamore at 12.14pm on August 11 last year.

Mr Sheeran's solicitor said his client was a 78-year-old man with no previous convictions and the vehicle was available to him, his son and four of their employees.

He was unable to establish whether anyone else would have been driving it on that date and the matter was a point of pride for him but he could not point to any factor which would indicate it was not him who was driving. He was relatively sure it could not have been him.

The man had €250 available to the court and asked that it be accepted as a charitable donation.

Judge Patricia Cronin said she could not accept the money because of a judicial review that had been taken previously in relation to penalty point offences so her hands were tied.

She said it was unfortunate the man had not paid the fine, which he could have done up to the previous week, and that would have reduced the impact on his licence.

She fined Mr Sheeran €160 and gave him three months to pay it.

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