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Careless uninsured driver was in hurry to sell his bullocks

April 9th, 2024 10:00 PM

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A BANDON farmer became irate with gardaí after they stopped him, due to his manner of driving, telling them he was in a hurry to the local mart to sell some animals, a court heard.

Jeremiah O’Donovan of Ballynoden, Bandon pleaded guilty at Clonakilty District Court to careless driving and driving without insurance.

Sgt Tom Mulcahy told the court that at 12.15pm on March 27th 2023 gardaí observed a jeep, towing an animal trailer, overtaking a truck.

‘They saw it brake hard approaching a junction and saw smoke coming from the vehicle’s tyres. They had to take swift action to avoid the jeep,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

‘They signalled for the driver to stop. He was irate with them  and said he was in a hurry as he had three bullocks in his trailer and was on his way to Bandon Mart to sell them.’

The defendant’s twin brother, Denis, was in the passenger seat, while no insurance was produced by the defendant.

The court heard he has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Eamonn Fleming said his client and his brother have farms in Courtmacsherry and Bandon and have been farming since 1959.

He said both are very law-abiding but Judge James McNulty remarked that the defendant seemed to be careless about insurance.

Mr Fleming said the vehicle that was insured broke down and they cancelled the insurance on it.

He said his client was persuaded by his twin Denis to drive to Courtmacsherry to collect three bullocks before 1 pm.

‘They would have lost the premium payment on them and they were already late when they left for Courtmacsherry. They were fortunate there was no accident,’ said Mr Fleming.

‘They are now fully insured and they keep to themselves.’

Judge McNulty said private men have public responsibility to ensure that they are insured.

‘They were preoccupied with the mart and lost their priorities,’ said the judge.

He indicated that a fine of €2,000 would be imposed on each offence to mark the court’s disapproval of their ‘social irresponsibility’.

At a later court sitting in Clonakilty on March 5th, Judge Adrian Harris convicted and fined Mr O’Donovan a total of €4,000 for driving without insurance and careless driving, but did not impose a disqualification.

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