Garda had no tax or insurance

A garda based in Donegal town has been fined €300 for not having insurance on his car.

A garda based in Donegal town has been fined €300 for not having insurance on his car.

Keith Harrison, 33, admitted not having insurance or road tax at Séné Lane, which is located next to the garda station in Donegal town, on February 24, 2012.

He appeared before Judge Kevin Kilrane at Manorhamilton District Court during yesterday, During the hearing, he was referred to as an employee of the State.

Donegal town station sergeant in charge Anthony Cornyn said his attention was drawn to a car owned by Mr Harrison where the details on the insurance disc didn’t match the vehicle registration.

Mr Harrison told him the car was insured but he hadn’t got the document and would have to contact the insurance company.

During inquiries by Sgt David Durkan, the insurance company said the car wasn’t covered. Insurance had been taken out on February 11 and Mr Harrison was told his driving licence and other documents would have to be supplied within seven days.

That didn’t happen and the company subsequently failed to make contact with Mr Harrison.

Sgt Cornyn said the insurance disc exhibited on the car, bought in January last year, referred to a vehicle previously owned by Mr Harrison and it had been cancelled.

Defence solicitor Frank Dorrian said Mr Harrison understood he remained covered while everything connected with his application was being completed. He was a family man with an address at Ballymaleel, Letterkenny, operated within the community and was a volunteer with a counselling service for disadvantaged people. As an employee of the State, he was concerned about his driving licence.

Mr Dorrian said it was a “fairly careless approach” by all parties concerned in the insurance application. He added: “There was some sort of tacit acknowledgement that he was still covered.”

Judge Kilrane said it would appear there was a degree of misunderstanding between Mr Harrison and the insurance company.

He added: “Driving without insurance is a very serious matter but there are mitigating circumstances. It wasn’t just a blatant case of driving without insurance.”

The judge said that for the reasons put before the court he was not going to impose a driving ban. He imposed a €300 fine and the offence of having no tax was taken into consideration.