A woman from Galway, who lives in Castlebar and teaches in Achill, was convicted and fined at this week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court.
On November 11 2011, Garda Declan Glynn observed a car parked in a disabled bay on Ellison Street; just across from the Bank of Ireland. The car did not have a disabled permit displayed. A fixed charge penalty notice was issued to Carole Mooney, 4 Carrowbeg, Newport Road, Castlebar, however it was not paid.
The defendant told the court that the ATM swallowed her laser card the day before and she rushed from work in Achill to the bank in Castlebar in order to take out money so she could pay for petrol to drive home to Galway. She said that in a “blind panic” she parked in the disabled space so she could run into the bank before it closed.
Mooney said that she had never parked in a disabled space before and knew that it was wrong. She said that she was parked there for five to seven minutes. The defendant had attempted to pay the fixed charge notice, however it was too late.
Judge Mary Devins asked whether Ms Mooney thought that “her interests were more important than those with a disability”. Judge Devins said that she really takes “a dim view” of this, “particularly” for a teacher to do it.
Mooney, who has no previous convictions, was convicted and fined €250 and directed to contribute €500 to the Western Alzheimer’s Association.