Senator convicted and fined for unpaid car tax
Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has been convicted and fined €1,850 for driving for six months without paying tax on her Mercedes car.
Ms Healy Eames (50), from Maree, Oranmore, was not present at Galway District Court yesterday when four tax summonses were dealt with.
Her solicitor, Colman Sherry, pleaded guilty on her behalf to driving without tax on dates in March, June and July and to not having tax displayed when her car was seized in July.
Garda Garrett Cafferkey gave evidence that he saw the accused on her mobile phone while driving near her home on March 10th. He subsequently issued a ticket to her for using her phone. He checked and found the tax on her car had expired in January 2012.
Garda Cafferkey said he observed Ms Healy Eames driving near her home on June 23rd – he again checked the Garda Pulse system and found the car tax had not been paid.
He stopped Ms Healy Eames driving near Galway city on July 2nd and found a tax disc which had expired in January 2012. She told him she had tried to sell the car and it had been off the road for a number of months. Garda Cafferkey seized the car.
He contacted the motor tax office the following day and discovered the vehicle had been back-taxed for the month of May only but not for the months of February, March or April. He said he checked with the motor tax office again on December 12th and was told the arrears, for February, March and April had been paid on October 3rd last. “So all of the arrears are up to date,” he said.
“Eventually,” Judge Mary Fahy replied. “The rationale behind those fines is because the driver had ample opportunity to pay but failed to comply.”