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Councillor held mobile phone as he drove car

January 2nd, 2019 10:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Fined _ Cllr Alan Coleman.jpg

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A CORK county councillor appeared at Bandon District Court before Christmas to answer road traffic charges, which included driving at over 20km above the legal speed limit and using a mobile phone while driving.

Judge James McNulty was told that Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind), who represents the Bandon-Kinsale area, faced three charges under the Road Traffic Act.

Garda Michelle Kelleher told the court that Cllr Coleman was observed using a mobile phone while driving and stopped at Farnahoe, Innishannon, on November 20th, 2016. Garda Kelleher said that a fixed charge notice was issued but not paid.

On April 9th, 2016, the councillor was stopped for speeding while traveling at 71kph in a 50kph zone at Irishtown, Bandon. Once again, a fixed charge notice was issued and not paid.

Then, on July 4th, 2016, Cllr Coleman was stopped and another fixed charge notice issued for driving a car without displaying a current NCT disc. This fine was also not paid.

Speaking for the Cllr Coleman, solicitor Ray Hennessy said that his client was pleading guilty to the charges of driving while holding a mobile phone, saying that he was not driving his usual car, which has a Bluetooth connection for his phone, and to the charge of driving over the legal speed limit.

However, Mr Hennessy said that he would need more time to answer the charge of driving without displaying a valid NCT.

Judge McNulty convicted Cllr Coleman on both the driving while using a mobile phone and the speeding charge, and fined him €100 on each charge with 30 days to pay and with penalty points to follow.

On the driving without displaying a valid NCT, Judge McNulty adjourned the case for Cllr Coleman to appear once more before Bandon District Court on May 5th, 2019. 

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