Gay Byrne not happy with Judge Patrick Durcan

Judge Patrick Durcan

FORMER road safety chief Gay Byrne has criticised the decision not to impose a driving ban on a former beauty queen who admitted speeding at 187kmph (116mph) on a motorway at Ennis District Court last week.
Judge Patrick Durcan’s decision not to ban driver Gemma Reilly “sends the wrong message” on road safety, said the veteran broadcaster.
Ms Reilly – crowned Miss Limerick in 2010 – was fined €500 after pleading guilty to speeding in a 120kph zone on the Ennis to Gort motorway on March 3 in her mother’s Mercedes car.
Ms Reilly told Ennis District Court: “I agree with the garda’s evidence that I was speeding.” She told Judge Durcan her orthodontist is based in Galway “and I was extremely late for an appointment. I was driving my mother’s car and didn’t realise how fast I was going”.
“I’m usually very diligent. I drive a 1.4 Golf myself. I have never been speeding before,” she said.
Judge Durcan fined Ms Reilly and said: “I am not disqualifying you from holding a driver’s licence because you have been absolutely honest in how you have dealt with the matter and I want to commend you on that.
“I must penalise you by virtue of the speed you were travelling at. If I had detected any element of dishonesty in your evidence I would have disqualified you, but I must say I found your honesty refreshing. Thank you,” he added.
The speeding fine of €500 was one of the largest ever levied by Judge Durcan since his arrival into the Clare jurisdiction almost four years ago.

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