Taxi driver convicted of overcharging to have licence reviewed by gardaí

Driver charged passenger more than double standard fare after collecting her from Dublin Airport

A taxi driver who has a number of convictions for taxi regulations offences is to have his licence reviewed by the Garda.

Lee Hennessy of Barnewall Avenue, Dublin, was on Monday fined €300 plus €350 in cost and witness expenses for charging a passenger more than double the standard fare after collecting her from Dublin Airport.

Hennessy has two prior convictions for taxi regulation offences for operating a meter without moving and failing to link his details to a vehicle.

On Tuesday the National Transport Authority which as the taxi regulator took the case against Hennessy, said it was passing a file to the Garda, which is the authority that revokes drivers’ licences.


In a statement, the NTA said while it had taken the decision to prosecute in the taken to prosecute, and the prosecution had resulted in a conviction: “Under the Taxi Regulation Acts 2013 and 2016, the licensing authority for SPSV drivers is An Garda Síochána and the power to revoke or suspend taxi driver licences rests with them”.

The NTA said gardaí “ are aware of this conviction and a formal report will be submitted to them in the coming days so that a decision can be made with regard to the SPSV Driver Licence”.

The NTA said it was not the licensing authority for taxi drivers and it was not possible to state how many drivers have had a licence revoked for overcharging.

On Monday, HSE worker Donna Murphy told Judge Anthony Halpin in the District Court that she had been collected by a taxi outside Terminal 1 and she had asked to be brought to Ashton in Dublin 15. She said she noticed €27.40 on the meter when she was just under 500 yards from home.

The driver then switched it off without explanation and told her the fare was €44 when he reached her building less than a minute later, she told the court.

The witness said she thought he told her €24, but “he said no, €44, four-four, I didn’t argue”.

She claimed the driver gave her three blank receipts and told her “to fill in whatever I wanted to”. The meter was still blank, she alleged.

She went into her home and made a complaint. NTA compliance officer Martin Bates told the court he ran a test journey along the same route; the maximum fare should have been €20.80.

A Garda spokesman confirmed the Garda was the competent authority empowered to revoke driver’s licences and said this was done on a review of files from the NTA.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist