Callely fined €60 over mobile use

Mon, Apr 4, 2011, 01:00

Independent senator Ivor Callely has been fined €60 for holding a mobile phone while driving.

Mr Callely (52) denied the offence and said he was using a hands-free kit when the incident occurred last year.

Gda Keith Daly gave evidence of stopping Mr Callely’s blue 2002 Jaguar on Ballybough Road in Dublin on October 11th, 2010.

The traffic garda said he saw Mr Callely holding a phone to his right ear. He said he performed a U-turn and pulled the senator over at Summerhill Parade.

He told Dublin District Court that Mr Callely was at that stage using a hands-free device but the phone he had seen him using was lying on a passenger seat.

Holding a phone while driving is contrary to sections 3 (1) and 3 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 2006.

Mr Callely, a former junior minister for transport, gave his address as St Lawrence’s Road, Clontarf, when pulled over by Gda Daly.

In evidence, he told the court that he had been talking into a “Parrot” handsfree device but accepted that he had two mobile phones in the car.

In relation to the fixed penalty notice, he said he did not keep a “log” of post coming to his house. He said he would have paid the fine if he had received it.

Gda Daly said he had an official record of the notice being sent.

It was put to Gda Daly that the phone on the passenger seat was broken. He said he did not have to prove that the phone was in use but that the defendant had been holding it while he was driving.

Judge James Paul McDonnell said it was accepted by the prosecution and the defence that there were two mobile phones in the senator's car and that Mr Callely was speaking into a device when he was stopped

The judge accepted the garda's evidence that the senator was holding a mobile phone while driving.

Judge McDonnell fined Mr Callely €60 which must be paid within seven days or else he could be jailed for five days in default.