27 Sept 2022

Midlands hospice fund boosted by judge's orders in court

Courthouse Tullamore

Judge sitting at Tullamore District Court ordered that payments be made to hospice fund

THE Midlands hospice fund was boosted by €1,550 on Wednesday by cash payments ordered from people who came before Tullamore District Court.

Judge Michele Finan decided to ask for the money from defendants accused of a variety of offences when their cases had been proven by gardai.

The amounts sought by Judge Finan varied from €50 up to €500 and by making the payments the accused people either escaped fines and convictions or did not have to contribute to the court poor box.

In the first case a man found driving without an NCT disc agreed to pay €50 while in another a driver handed in €100 cash as an alternative to being fined for parking in a disabled driver's bay.

Further prosecutions yielded a total of €100 from one driver who had been summonsed for having no tax displayed and another who parked in a disabled driver's bay.

Two more drivers paid €50 each to the hospice fund for driving while holding a mobile phone and a for a road tax offence.

Two much larger contributions of €500 each were made by two others – one for motoring offences and another for causing criminal damage.

There was also a separate payment of €100 made by a man who had been prosecuted for committing a public order offence.

A 20-bed hospice for Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath will be built on the grounds of the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore. Different fundraising groups across the region have been gathering monies for a number of years.

On Tuesday Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced that €20m in State funding is being committed to the Midlands hospice project.

At one point during yesterday's sitting of the District Court Judge Finan said she was going to divert the funds to a different source and ruled that €100 would go to the charity Enable Ireland because a motorist had parked in a disabled driver's bay.

A total of €300 also went to Pieta House, €200 from a man summonsed for a public order offence and €100 from a man proven to have possessed a small amount of drugs.

If an individual before her agreed to pay money to charity but did not have the cash with them, Judge Finan gave them an opportunity to go to an ATM and return to court with the money.

In all cases she struck out the prosecutions but said they had been proven.

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