Google pays into poor box for parking illegally

Fri, Jan 27, 2012, 00:00

INTERNET GIANT Google, which offers views of nearly every street in Ireland, was forced down to earth yesterday after being summonsed to appear at a sitting of Castleisland District Court.

The company was in court after a vehicle, confirmed as a streetview car with a roof-mounted camera, had parked illegally on Main Street, Castleisland, Co Kerry, last September.

Yesterday’s appearance in the court, which now sits in Tralee, was to confirm a €450 contribution pledged before Christmas to the court poor box to avoid a conviction under the Road Traffic Act.

The case of Kerry County Council v Google Ireland had first come before Castleisland court on December 22nd last.

Google Ireland Ltd, Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to illegal parking on September 23rd, 2011.

The case had been adjourned to yesterday to allow Google’s contribution to the poor box to be paid to avoid a conviction. The court was told that the €450 had now been paid.

Representing Google Ireland, Tralee solicitor Patrick Mann, for A L Goodbody Solicitors of Dublin, reminded Judge James O’Connor of his appeal so that Google, “which so well serves the world and the community”, could make the contribution and thus avoid a conviction.

The previous court hearing also heard how Google Ireland drivers were not employed directly by Google but were provided by a subcontractor.

The company would have paid the fine directly without having to be summonsed to court, Mr Mann added, but it did not realise there had been a parking fine until the summons dropped on to Google’s desk.

The 09 red vehicle in question had logos, maps and a camera mounted on its roof, it was confirmed by the authorities.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s sitting of the monthly Castleisland court took place in Tralee for the first time, under a rationalisation of the district courts.

Judge O’Connor noted the historic change “of the first appearance of Castleisland court in Tralee” and welcomed solicitors, gardaí and traffic wardens, and others associated with Castleisland.