Woman fined over Athy horseplay
A woman has been convicted of driving without due care and attention after gardaí found her travelling through a town with her husband in the boot, leading a horse.
The incident happened in Athy, Co Kildare on March 20th last year.
Gardaí became aware of the green Peugeot 406 at 4.30pm at the head of a particularly slow line of traffic on Fortbarrington Road.
When they neared the car driven by Heather Josiah (29), Ardrew Court, Athy, they noticed the boot was open with Mr Josiah sitting in it, leading a horse on a rope.
At Athy District Court, Judge Desmond Zaidan asked Insp Jim Doyle “is that for real?”
He asked for the evidence to be repeated, and described the case as very unusual, like something one might expect in 1890 rather than in 2012.
Solicitor Matthew Byrne said his client, a mother of four, was a very short distance from home when she was stopped.
The horse was then given what Judge Zaidan described as “a Garda escort” to the Josiah family home.
Insp Doyle said drivers were patient on the day, and very understanding of the delay.
The court also heard how a week earlier, Ms Josiah had been stopped in traffic at Emily Square, Athlone, with her husband holding a two-year-old child, unrestrained in the front seat. Another child was sitting behind the passenger seat, also unrestrained.
Mr Byrne said the couple now own a people carrier for their children.
Now expecting her fifth child, Ms Josiah (29), who came to Ireland from the UK seven years ago, does all the family’s driving as her husband is currently off the road and neither of them are working.
Mr Josiah, who does not read or write, had taken the fines when they arrived, not knowing what they were and his wife didn’t get a chance to pay them, Mr Byrne said.
He agreed with the judge that the horse case was unusual but that it was something he had seen in Dublin when he was growing up.
However, Judge Zaidan replied that instead it was something Mr Byrne’s great grandfather might have seen.
He said the situation could have “gone horribly wrong” if any of the other drivers had honked their car horn, causing the horse to go out of control.
After confirming with Mrs Josiah that she appreciates the significance of safety belts for children, he imposed a €400 fine for driving with undue consideration, and a €200 fine for having an unrestrained child in the car.