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Illegal ‘taxi’ is fined after garda sting

March 8th, 2024 10:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A JOINT sting operation to catch a motorist operating an illegal hackney service was carried out by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and gardaí last summer, a court has heard.

John Curran (63) of 11 Ard na Gréine, Courtmacsherry, pleaded guilty to having no insurance.

He also pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle without a small public service vehicles licence for a driver and a vehicle, in a separate prosecution taken by the NTA.

Clonakilty District Court heard that on August 4th last Gda Therese Lyons and the NTA were looking into reports of an unlicensed hackney driver operating in Timoleague.

‘She contacted a number to book the hackney at 8.45pm and went to Monk’s Lane in Timoleague. She booked him for the return journey and paid him,’ said Sgt Mulcahy.

The court heard that she knew the driver as John Curran and while he had insurance, he wasn’t insured for hiring.

Solicitor Jason Teahan, representing the NTA, said the NTA were contacted following a number of complaints from the public. They set up an operation to get gardaí to pose as passengers.

‘A NTA officer observed the picking-up of the passengers and on the return journey he and gardaí approached the defendant.

He admitted all the offences at the scene.’ The court heard that he has no previous convictions and his solicitor Conrad Murphy said it is accepted that he took €20 in total for both journeys.

‘He has significant health issues and needs his driving licence as his wife can’t drive.

He initially wasn’t taking money from people and it was more like a social outlet for him,’ said Mr Murphy.

‘He’s not making a lot of money and has very modest means.’

Judge James McNulty spared him a disqualification but fined him €100 for no insurance.

He was also convicted and fined €100 in the NTA prosecution.

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