A husband and wife have both been disqualified from driving after they both drove uninsured to and from the local Garda Station to report a road collision.
Harry and Mary Reilly, Newtown, Clogher, Belmullet, both appeared before Belmullet District Court charged with driving without insurance on December 6 last.
The court was told that Mrs Reilly drove to the Garda Station to report the fact that she had collided with a parked car in the town. Upon leaving the station, her husband, Harry Reilly, drove them home.
Both were asked to produce their insurance documentation and it transpired neither were insured to be driving on the day in question.
Defending solicitor Kathleen Doocey said the situation was ‘nothing short of a mess’. She told the court her clients had cancelled one policy, were shopping around for another policy and felt they were insured on the date in question.
She told the court they got insurance cover shortly after the date in question. Ms Doocey argued that the Reillys’ driving to the Garda Station was ‘hardly the action of guilty parties’.
When asked by Judge Conal Gibbons about the car Mrs Reilly had crashed into, Ms Doocey said it was an accident with a neighbour whom there is a ‘long standing dispute’ with. She said the damage was approximately €500 and has not been paid nor was it ‘pursued’ by the injured party.
She added the nature of the dispute was why Mrs Reilly went to the Garda Station to own up to the incident.
Ms Doocey said Mrs Reilly had not driven since but that the family were ‘absolutely reliant’ on Mr Reilly’s ability to drive and bring their children to school. She conveyed the Reillys ‘regret and embarrassment’ to the court.
When Judge Gibbons said there had to be special reasons not to disqualify someone for no insurance, Ms Doocey argued that disqualifying both drivers would be ‘doubling up’ on the punishment and urged Judge Gibbons to consider not imposing a disqualification on both drivers.
Judge Gibbons convicted both Harry and Mary Reilly, disqualifying both from driving for one year. Recognances were fixed in the event of an appeal of the disqualification to the Circuit Court.