Bill Cullen cleared of speeding offence

Businessman pleaded not guilty to charge of breaking speed limit after fixed penalty notice went unpaid

Bill Cullen: told court he had never received a penalty point, fine or conviction. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bill Cullen: told court he had never received a penalty point, fine or conviction. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sat, Mar 29, 2014, 01:00


Businessman Bill Cullen has been cleared of a speeding offence after a court heard that his country mansion often gets mixed up with a young offenders’ jail.

He had to appear at Dublin District Court yesterday for speeding after a fixed penalty notice fine of €80 went unpaid.

A court summons was issued against the one time leading figure Irish motor industry for breaking the 60kph speed limit on the M1, at Cloghran, in north Co Dublin, on June 8th last year.

The businessman, who lives at Osberstown House, Sallins, Co Kildare, was pleading not guilty defence solicitor Michael French told Judge James Faughnan and the case went to hearing.


Penalty
In evidence Traffic Garda Dominic Noonan told Judge Faughnan that he had been operating speeding equipment when Mr Cullen was detected driving “83kph in a 60kph” zone.

He said he spoke to the driver, a fixed penalty notice was later sent to his address in Kildare and the officer said he had not received any correspondence back.

The 72-year-old businessman told the judge that he “never received it”, referring to the penalty notice.

He also said he normally did not have difficulties with his post, which he said was also checked by his partner Jackie Lavin.

He said he has been a driver for the past 55 years and in all that time he had never received a penalty point, fine or conviction.

He went on to explain that once or twice a year his post would not be delivered to his address at Osberstown House and instead would go Oberstown House, which is a juvenile detention centre, in Lusk, in north Co Dublin.

Judge Faughnan also noted from Mr French, defending, that the car dealer’s address had also been wrongly spelt, as Oberstown House, on the court’s summons, and he dismissed the case.

The veteran businessman and philanthropist lost his business to the banks but has embarked on a comeback and has re-entered the Irish motor trade with a new SsangYong dealership in Dublin.