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Judge hears ‘loveliest case’ with kind witnesses

October 28th, 2021 11:45 AM

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A CHARGE of driving without reasonable consideration was dismissed against a Skibbereen woman who braked on a roundabout when faced with an oncoming truck.

Judge James McNulty said it would be ‘unjust to convict’ Mary Frances Kearney of 3, Mardyke Street, Skibbereen, who was prosecuted arising from a minor collision at the Cork Road roundabout on July 7th 2020.

Sgt Paul Kelly gave evidence at Skibbereen District Court that a superior officer recommended that both Mary Kearney and Csaba O’Mahony, who bumped into the back of her car, should both be issued with a fixed charge notice for driving without reasonable consideration.

In evidence, Csaba O’Mahony said he paid the fine. Recalling the collision, he said the accused ‘had the right of way’, but she stopped in the middle of the roundabout.

‘I was not expecting her to stop,’ said the driver, who also noted that the truck, which was coming from the Skibbereen by-pass side of the roundabout, had ‘pulled up to the line.’

He said the collision happened after he had taken off from stop. He said he was doing less than 20mph at the point of impact. 

The witness for the prosecution also said he told Mary Kearney that he would pay for any damages and she said that would be ‘perfect’.

A fixed charge notice was imposed on Mary Kearney but she contested the matter and a summons was subsequently issued for driving without reasonable consideration.

Mary Kearney and her solicitor, Ray Hennessy, submitted that it was the oncoming truck at the start of the roundabout that caused her to react and brake.

The truck driver also gave evidence. He said: ‘She thought I was not going to stop but I stopped at the line. There was nothing erratic in what I was doing.’

Mary Kearney said she was on her way to Spar when the incident happened. She said she is a careful driver and on this occasion ‘saw danger’, adding that it didn’t seem like he was going to stop.

She said she stopped to avoid a collision with the haulier but heard ‘an unmerciful bang’ as a car hit her from behind. 

She said she reported the matter to the gardaí in Skibbereen and she also contacted Cork County Council to have the road markings improved.

‘This woman did the right thing reporting it to gardaí,’ according to Judge James McNulty, who remarked on the fact that he found this to be ‘one of the loveliest cases you could hear because the three witnesses were all kind and courteous to one another – there was no rancour or bitterness.’

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