Taximan fined after protest


The chairman of Galway Taxi Association was fined yesterday at Galway District Court for failing to remove his vehicle from outside a hackney operators' office in the city.

Michael Fitzpatrick of Ballinfoyle Park was fined £40 and ordered to pay £121 costs after his taxi had to be towed away by gardai at Prospect Hill on February 3rd. He was summonsed for interfering with the normal flow of traffic.

The court heard that Fitzpatrick informed the Garda he was protesting against hackney operators in the city and had refused to move his vehicle. "Both the car and driver were towed to Mill Street station," Garda Insp Stephen Folan, prosecuting, said.

Defending solicitor Mr Michael Ryan said his client was frustrated by how a hackney operator was doing business and in a moment of frustration decided to protest. "He appreciates that it was not the correct thing to do."

Judge John Garavan said Fitzpatrick had taken the protest to an extreme.

An application to bind Fitzpatrick to the peace was adjourned to July 24th after Insp Folan said he wished to see his behaviour in the meantime.