Longford mum given eight year driving ban

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A Longford mother with over 80 previous convictions who pleaded guilty to being behind the wheel while disqualified from driving and resulting in her having no insurance in place, has been spared a prison sentence

Patricia McDonnell (41), Riverdall, Gaigue, Ballinamuck, Longford was charged with failing to produce insurance on December 2 2016 at C Link, Mullingar.
The court was told Ms McDonnell had been banned from driving on the date in question, something which her solicitor Trish Cronin was not attempting to gloss over.
“Very little can be said,” remarked Ms Cronin.
“She (Ms McDonnell) knows she was disqualified.”
Ms Cronin said that her client’s husband had also been involved in a serious road traffic accident at the time.
Upon learning of Ms McDonnell’s 81 previous convictions, not all of which were for motoring offences, Judge Hughes said the defendant was on the brink of being sent to prison.
“I will give you a suspended sentence and a period of disqualification, but if you are caught again you won’t be getting a second chance from me,” he warned her.
“You have run out of road.”
He signed off matters by disqualifying Ms McDonnell for eight years and issued a five month prison term, suspending it for a period of three years.
He also fined the Longford mother €250.
In three further cases of alleged shoplifting taken against Ms McDonnell, who also has a home address at 34 College Park, Longford, the court opted to adjourn those matters until next month.
They involved the accused allegedly taking over €500 worth of perfume and aftershave gift sets from O’Hanlon’s Pharmacy, Lower Main Street on November 27 2016 and a further €613 of similar items from the same store ten days later.
The third alleged shoplifting episode occurred on January 26 2017 at Finn's Filling Station, Athlone Road, Longford.
That incident allegedly resulted in the theft of a small roast dinner, a large roast dinner, a tray of mashed potatoes and a magazine amounting to an overall sum of €16.50.
Ms Cronin said her client intended contesting the latter charge which resulted in a hearing date of November 7 being assigned.
In relation to the alleged incidents at O’Hanlon’s Pharmacy, Ms Cronin likewise asked for an adjournment, revealing “an issue” that had emerged concerning CCTV footage.
She claimed her office had sought a copy of the incident but had so far been unsuccessful in procuring one from the State.
Supt Delaney replied, saying the alleged incident had been viewed on a live system but said difficulties had cropped up when officers attempted to open the file and produce a copy.
Judge Hughes, as a result, adjourned the case until November 7 also.