Connemara man fails to pay €100 taxi fare after release from prison, court hears

A Connemara man ended up being brought to a Garda station only hours after being released from prison after he failed to pay a taxi driver the €100 fare from Castlerea to Galway.

The Galway District Court heard how Padraic Joyce (51 ) with an address given as Fairgreen Hostel had been released after serving a sentence and had arranged for the taxi to pick him up at Castlerea train station, however, when the taxi brought him to Galway Joyce failed to pay him the fare due to social welfare payment difficulties.

Joyce appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday charged with obtaining the services of a taxi and making off without paying the €100 fare on January 15, 2013, and with failure to appear in court at Galway District Court on January 23, 2013.

Inspector Ernie Whyte told the court that on January 14, 2013, at 2pm a taxi driver arrived at Galway Garda Station to officially lodge the complaint against Joyce. When the taxi arrived in Galway Joyce had asked the driver to bring him to the Deparment of Social Welfare office so that he could obtain job seeker allowance money, however, he was unable to do so. Then they drove to the post office but Joyce still could not obtain his money because he had no photo identification.

Defence solicitor John Martyn explained that issues arose with his client’s social welfare payments while he was serving a sentence and that payments are due to restart soon. He added that Joyce had only been released from custody shortly before the incident. The court then heard that matters are progressing in finding Joyce suitable accommodation.

Inspector Whyte then told Judge Fahy he had no objection to the matter being adjourned as long as Joyce came to court with €100 for the taxi driver.

“In view of the inspector’s attitude I am willing to give him a chance,” said Judge Fahy before remanding Joyce on his own bond of €200 to appear in court again on February 25 for payment of €100 to the taxi driver.

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