Van owner and driver escape driving ban following accident

The owner of a van and an employee of his who was involved in a road traffic accident after which it was discovered the employee who was driving the van was not covered by insurance both escaped a driving ban this week after pleading guilty to charges in Castlebar District Court this week.

The court was told by Garda Martin Kelly that at 5.10pm on September 20, 2010 he was called to a serious road traffic crash at Cloggernagh, Islandeady. At the scene he spoke to the driver of a Volkswagen Transporter van who identified himself as Andrei Walsh, 5 Cois Na hAbhainn, Belcarra, Castlebar. Walsh told him that he would produce his insurance at Castlebar Garda Station within 10 days. However the next day Walsh contacted Garda Kelly to inform him that he was not covered by his own insurance or his employer’s insurance as both of them had thought.

Walsh’s employer, Tom Malone, Tower Hill, Ballyglass, told the court in his evidence that he had driven himself and Walsh to work that day, but he had to leave urgently to attend the hospital because he had child who was sick at the time. He told the court that he asked Walsh to drive the van home when he finished work that day. Under questioning, Malone admitted that he knew that Walsh was not covered to drive the van under his insurance policy because he had enquired about getting Walsh put on it a few months earlier but the cost was too large. Malone told the court that he had told Walsh to check with his own insurance company to see if he was covered, and he understood that Walsh’s own insurance covered him, but that turned out not to be true.

Garda Kelly told the court that the accident was a very serious one and there were injuries sustained in it by the other party who was at fault for the accident and had been prosecuted for it at an earlier court sitting. Both Walsh and Malone pleaded guilty to the charges of having no insurance and Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined Walsh €200 and Malone €250.

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