Judge Lifts One Year Driving Ban On Clare FF Councillor

Photo © Clare FM

A Fianna Fail Councillor who falsely nominated another driver in a speeding case yesterday has his one year driving ban lifted on appeal.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Tom O’Donnell lifted the one year driving ban after hearing that if the driving ban stays, it would put Alan O’Callaghan’s fuel enterprise out of business.

On the offence, Judge O’Donnell said: “This was a deliberate act of nominating somebody who wasn’t driving a car and then he pleads guilty to the particular offence.”


At Ennis District Court last November, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan was excoriated by Judge Patrick Durcan who said that the east Clare man “has wriggled like a worm at the end of a hook” and told “a pack of lies” concerning the road prosecution.

Judge Durcan said that Alan O’Callaghan (41) engaged in “a common scam” and showed nothing but contempt for the system when faced with a Fixed Charge Penalty Notice (FCPN) prosecution.

After the district court hearing, Mr O’Callaghan said that he took a dim view on what Judge Durcan had to say, stating that he “100% absolutely denies” the judge’s comment that he was involved in a scam and pointed out that he didn’t never got any penalty points before.

In the case, Mr O’Callaghan pleaded guilty to making a false nomination of a driver caught speeding when Mr O’Callaghan was caught speeding his 06 registered BMW X5 jeep 75kmph in a 50kmph zone on June 1st 2016 at Dough, Lahinch.

Mr O’Callaghan notified Gardaí that “a Paul Roche from the Republic of Nigeria” was driving his BMW when Mr O’Callaghan was accused of speeding.

Solicitor acting for the State, Aisling Casey told Ennis Circuit Court yesterday that this explanation “rang alarm bells at Templemore and the matter was investigated”.

Ms Casey that that Mr O’Callaghan was interviewed by a Garda where he was shown a blown up photo of him driving on the date at Dough.

Explaining why Mr O’Callaghan had nominated Mr Roche, Ms Casey said that Mr O’Callaghan told the Gardaí that Mr Roche was sure that he was the driver and he gave Mr O’Callaghan a copy of the driving licence for paying the fine.

Ms Casey said that Mr O’Callaghan explained further that Paul Roche had been buying a site in Lahinch and Mr O’Callaghan used to give Mr Roche the loan of his vehicle to go up and down to Lahinch and that is why Mr O’Callaghan thought that Mr Roche was driving the car at the time.

Solicitor for Mr O’Callaghan, Stiofán Fitzpatrick told the court yesterday that at the time, Mr O’Callaghan honestly believed that Mr Roche was the driver of the car.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that Mr Roche is originally from Limerick and was using Mr O’Callaghan’s car while here.

He said: “When a notice was issued it was believed that Mr Roche was the driver.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said that Mr O’Callaghan is a publican and also requires a specific licence to carry out his fuel business.

The solicitor said that the loss of his licence will have significant adverse consequences for Mr O’Callaghan. He said: “The loss of his licence means loss of his business – he is the sole operator.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that Mr O’Callaghan is the father of one young child and his wife has another child on the way.

In court yesterday, Judge O’Donnell said that he was lifting the driving ban given that Mr O’Callaghan has no previous convictions and when interviewed by Gardaí, he owned up and paid the particular fine.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that his client has no issue with paying the fine and Judge O’Donnell said that the €750 fine would remain in place.

Mr O’Callaghan declined to comment after the case.