non-appearance in court affects fine size

The perils of not turning up in court were highlighted this week (November 17 ), after a man convicted of driving without insurance was fined €100, whilst a man summonsed for no NCT, but who didn’t show to hear his case, was fined €400.

Anthony Dolan (29 ) of Monksfield, Bealnamullia, Athlone was summonsed to court on seven road traffic offences, most notably driving without insurance, after being stopped in Monksland on March 13.

Dolan had 22 previous convictions, but only one for road traffic offences. He explained through his solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn, how the car was his father’s, not his own, but he was not covered under his father’s policy as he didn’t possess a driving licence.

In mitigation, Mr Quinn told Judge Eamon O’Brien that Dolan was now the fulltime parent to a 10-year-old whilst the mother was in the UK.

The judge fined Dolan €100 for the no insurance summons, and took the six other offences into consideration.

The next case up was Thomas Damien Kelly of Birds Hollow, Ballykeeran, Athlone whose vehicle was stopped at Creggan on June 30 without any roadworthiness certificate. However, as Kelly hadn’t shown up in court, Judge O’Brien fined him the maximum €400. He has two weeks from Wednesday to appeal this, and it was not stated in court whether the vehicle was private or commercial.

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