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Judge queries how driver was insured without a licence

October 18th, 2019 1:15 PM

By Southern Star Team

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A CLONAKILTY motorist was able to get insurance despite never having sat his driving test to obtain a full driving licence, a court heard.

The facts of this case were outlined at Clonakilty District Court where Gerry Duggan (57) of Lisavaird, Clonakilty pleaded guilty to careless driving and driving without a licence.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that at 9.05am on November 3rd last, Noreen Walsh was driving her car along Wolfe Tone Street in Clonakilty when a red Ford Mondeo pulled out of Sand Quay and collided with her.

‘It caused her to mount a footpath and hit the wall at An Súgán restaurant,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘The defendant was insured but it turned out he had no driving licence and he has no previous convictions.’

Defence solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client didn’t have a driving licence as it had expired and he never renewed it.

‘He never did a full driving test,’ said Mr Murphy.

Judge James McNulty said that if the defendant was driving unlicensed, then that should compromise his insurance.

Mr Murphy said his client’s own insurance company looked after the damage to the injured party’s car.

‘He has a provisional driving licence and his own insurance premium has increased and they may seek to recoup the compensation paid out. I don’t know how he got insurance if he had no driving licence.’

Judge McNulty said that is ‘the perils of non-disclosure.’

Mr Murphy said his client, who works as a machine operator, has never been in court before and that he had paid also for the damage to the building as result of the traffic collision.

‘He has taken himself off the road and he was extremely concerned how the accident happened and even went to his doctor and optician to get a check-up.’

He added that his client has paid for the damage and for his legal fees and may also face his insurance company coming back to him.

The court heard that the defendant has done his driver theory test and Judge McNulty said that when he is the holder of a full driving licence he can come back to court and would ‘look at it afresh.’

He adjourned the matter until December 17th for a review.

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