Belcarra man’s close call crossed the line

A 59-year-old Belcarra man’s dash across the line at an unmanned railway crossing landed him before the district court this week.

Brendan Gavin, from Elm Hall, Belcarra, was fined €350 for careless driving at Castlebar District Court on Wednesday.

Judge Deirdre Gearty heard how Mr Gavin approached the railway crossing at Kilnageer, Belcarra, on October 25 last.

The Heuston to Westport train was approaching.

The train was just 100 yards away and travelling at 50kph when Mr Gavin crossed the line.

The judge heard Mr Gavin, who has an otherwise unblemished driving record, lives one mile from the crossing.

The crossing is guarded by gates, which motorists should manually open and close when using the crossing.

However prosecuting Garda Sean Ryan acknowledged the gates are, for the most part, left wide open.

Linda Lenihan, solicitor for Mr Gavin, said her client simply misjudged the distance of the train from him and also the speed at which it was travelling.

The judge noted “this could have been a very different story” if Mr Gavin's actions had caused a collision with the passenger train.

However she acceded to Ms Lenihan's appeal not to impose a driving disqualification and imposed the €350 fine.

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