Traffic garda had no tax or NCT
ONE OF the most experienced members of the Garda Traffic Corps in Limerick city has been ordered to pay €3,500 to charity after he was found guilty of having no tax or NCT on his car.
However, Garda Michael O’Shaughnessy of Kiltiernan Cross, Croagh, Co Limerick, has escaped a court penalty, until a judge can confirm if he has made a contribution to the St Vincent de Paul.
Garda O’Shaughnessy, of Henry Street Garda station in Limerick city, appeared before Limerick District Court yesterday, where he contested the charges.
Colleague Insp Paul Reidy, head of Limerick’s Garda Traffic Corps, said he saw Garda O’Shaughnessy driving a car that had no tax and no NCT at Mill Lane, just outside Henry Street Garda station, on May 9th and May 31st last year.
He said the car had not been taxed since March 31st and the NCT on the vehicle was out of date since October 2010.
He said the loss of revenue to the State was €64.
Garda O’Shaughnessy, who denied the charges, said in direct evidence he was not even in Limerick on May 31st and claimed he was driving a different vehicle on May 9th.
Solicitor Dan O’Gorman said his client was not informed about the charges until the middle of September and questioned whether this was best police practice.
He described his client as the most experienced member of the traffic corps in Limerick, with an exemplary record and claimed there was a “subtext” to the case.
Mr O’Gorman told the court there were difficulties between members and management of the traffic corps at Henry Street Garda station over allowances.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said his court was not an industrial appeals tribunal and he did not want to be “bogged down” by a dispute within the Traffic Corps.
Judge O’Kelly said he was satisfied the charges had been proven against Garda O’Shaughnessy, but said he was troubled about the implications a court conviction would have for the garda’s career.
Supt Dan Flavin agreed a court conviction would have implications for his career and said it would be a matter for a disciplinary tribunal at a later date.
Judge O’Kelly said he was shocked a member of An Garda Síochána whose duty is directed towards the enforcement of traffic regulations should find himself before the court on this matter.
He instructed Garda O’Shaughnessy to pay €3,500 to the St Vincent de Paul in Limerick, and adjourned the case until October 31st to see if it had been paid and would make his final order on the matter then.