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24 Jan 2022

Longford man fined €400 for interfering with flow of traffic

Longford Courthouse.

Longford Courthouse

A man who parked his car on Main Street in a manner that interfered with the flow of traffic has been fined €400.

John Keenan, 5 Palace Crescent, Ardnacassa, Longford, appeared before Judge Hughes at Longford District Court last week.

Giving evidence to the court, Gda Gary Lynch said that Mr Keenan was not double parked, but triple parked - an allegation which Mr Keenan disputed.

“On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, at 7.19pm, while I was on a mobile patrol, gardaí were made aware of a public order incident outside Luigi’s takeaway on Main Street Longford - a public place,” Gda Larkin explained.

Three males were arrested and, while dealing with the incident, Gda Larkin said he observed a car parked illegally in a manner that interfered with the flow of traffic.

“I had the lights activated and I was parked beside cars that were parked,” he said.

“So you yourself were double parked,” said Judge Hughes.

“Yes. Mr Keenan was triple parked. He had several opportunities to leave but he didn’t. I told him to leave,” Gda Larkin responded.

Mr Keenan disputed Gda Larkin’s evidence and explained that he “had an order in the chipper” which he was collecting at the time.

“This guard here was double parked and I parked in front of him,” he said.

“I was going in for my order and he said ‘what’s your name’ and I said ‘John Keenan’. He said ‘do you know a lad called Thomas Keenan that had a bit of an incident on Market Square’.

“I said I did. There was another lad with him, Michael McDonagh and he asked me if I know him. I said I do. He asked me ‘can you get his number for me’. I said I can. ‘Well if you get me his number,’ he says, ‘I won’t do you for the parking’.

“Now that is the god’s honest truth. He never got out of the car. He never asked me to go. He never said nothing.”

“You said in your own words that you were double parked,” Judge Hughes responded.

“I was in front of him. I wasn’t triple parked. I was double parked, the same as he was,” said Mr Keenan

“Are you any more entitled to double park than the guard?” asked Judge Hughes.

“No, the guard would have a better right, probably, than I’d have,” Mr Keenan admitted.

“Do you know what he was doing there? He was there to arrest three people. Do you know what you were doing there? Collecting curry chips. So there’s a bit of a difference,” said Judge Hughes.

The judge then turned to Gda Larkin and, considering Mr Keenan’s version of the story, offered him the last word on the matter.

“I dispute his version of events,” said Gda Larkin.

“I'm not disputing the guard in any way. I'm just telling the truth,” Mr Keenan interjected.

“You have substantially disputed the guard,” Judge Hughes replied.

“Yeah but I have a say the same as everybody else,” said Mr Keenan.

“And I gave you that say,” Judge Hughes concluded before handing Mr Keenan a €400 fine with four months to pay.

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