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18 May 2022

‘You shouldn’t have a car at all,’ judge tells Longford man

‘You shouldn’t have a car at all,’ judge tells Longford man

A Longford man with an “appalling” record for road traffic convictions, including two separate hit and run incidents, is due to reappear before Longford District Court in July, when a probation report is to be furnished to the judge.

Joseph Donohoe (31) of 3 Farrells Terrace, Granard, appeared last Tuesday morning charged with driving without insurance and driving without a licence in Ballymaurice, Granard, on March 20, 2022.

The court heard that Mr Donohoe had a whopping 30 previous convictions, including a very large number for road traffic offences.

In March 2017, Mr Donohoe was fined €450 and disqualified from driving for two years after being convicted for driving without insurance.

Despite this, in June 2017, Mr Donohhoe was convicted of a hit and run incident and driving without insurance, for which he received a six week prison sentence and a four year disqualification.

Less than a year later, in May 2018, at Cavan District Court, he was convicted for driving while disqualified and given 180 hours of Community Service.

Following that, in 2019, he was convicted of driving without insurance and dangerous driving and given four month concurrent prison sentences and a nine year disqualification. He was also fined €400 on the same day for driving while disqualified.

In February 2021, he received a five month prison sentence and an eleven year disqualification for dangerous driving, hit and run, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Addressing his client last Tuesday morning, defence solicitor Frank Gearty put it to Mr Donohoe that he has “a terrible record”, which the accused acknowledged.

When Mr Gearty asked who owned the car Mr Donohoe had been caught driving, the accused said that it was his own vehicle.
“It was my car, I just got it that day and I was planning on selling it,” he said.

“You shouldn’t have taken the car on the road,” said Mr Gearty.

“You shouldn’t have a car at all,” Judge Bernadette Owens interjected, noting the eleven year disqualification Mr Donohoe was given just over a year before the offence before the court occurred.

Mr Gearty informed the court that his client has a daughter from a previous relationship and is the sole carer for his four-year-old son who’s mother sadly passed away last year after rescuing her son from a lake.

“He acknowledges he was due a prison sentence and we are asking for a probation report,” said Mr Gearty before asking his client, “how is it that a man like you should have a shocking record?”

“I don’t know,” said Mr Donohoe.

“Sorry? You don’t know?” asked Judge Owens. “The reason you have an appalling record is because you were driving with no insurance.”

Noting Mr Donohoe’s family circumstances, Judge Owens agreed to accede to Mr Gearty’s request for a probation report but said “I am not making any promises”.

Mr Donohoe will reappear on July 19 before Longford District Court.

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