Motorists who ignore their speeding summons to appear at district courts in Clare do so at their peril.
This follows the appointed district judge for the county, Judge Patrick Durcan banning drivers from driving who don’t show up in court.
In a new hardline stance against motorists who ignore their court summons and fail to show, Judge Durcan has banned 11 motorists in one sitting- including one female motorist before the court accused of having ‘bald’ tyres on her car – from driving for 28 days.
At the traffic court in Ennis, Judge Durcan imposed the driving bans by way of ancillary orders and also imposed fines of €400 each on the drivers who failed to show.
On the woman accused of having bald tyres and failing to show up, Judge Durcan said: “We live in a democracy and people should respect that democracy and should have at least have the decency to turn up in court.”
Motorists who had 28 day bans imposed on them by Judge Durcan included one who was marginally over the speed limit and detected speeding at 109kmph in a 100kmph speed zone.
Another banned driver was caught speeding at 72kmph in a 50kmph zone with another caught speeding at 114kmph in a 100kmph zone.
The drivers will learn their fate in the next number of days when they receive confirmation of their driving bans in the post from the district court office.
They will then have 14 days in which to appeal Judge Durcan’s ruling and will be able to stay on the road pending the outcome of the appeal to the circuit court.
Director of Consumer Affairs with the AA, Conor Faughnan said that while the driving bans imposed on the drivers “may seem harsh, I find it very hard to have sympathy for someone who simply ignores their court summons to appear before the legal system and the court”.
He said: “It is a basic courtesy to appear before a judge and I would say ‘turn up in court for goodness sake and don’t stand up a judge’. I can’t argue with what the judge has done in these cases.”
During the same court, Judge Durcan struck out seven out of 17 ‘Go Safe’ speeding cases due to the Go Safe employee not being present in court with Insp Tom Kennedy saying that a number of cases, the Go Safe employee was no longer with the company.
In one case, the State withdrew the Go Safe speeding case against a new mother after her husband told the court that she recently gave birth to their first baby after 10 years of going through IVF treatment.
Judge Durcan told Insp Kennedy “that a lovely story”. The judge told the new father to tell his wife to ‘slow down’.
Judge Durcan dismissed a Go Safe speeding case against Gort garda, Garda Philip Gleeson after stating that the summons against him was defective as it required a judge to sign it.