Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Portlaoise District Court


A 62-year-old Abbeyleix man who parked his car in a disabled bay without a disabled parking disc was disqualified from driving at Portlaoise District Court last Thursday.

The court heard that the man had 11 previous convictions, one of which was for parking in a disabled bay.

When Garda Aisling O’Boyle approached the man and asked why he was parking in the bay, she said he gave no explanation and issued him with a fixed penalty notice, which went unpaid. Arising from the incident the man pleaded guilty to the offence, which took place at Main Street, Portlaoise on 3 April last year.

Defending solicitor Philip Meagher said that on the day in question, his client “was picking up a friend of a friend with a disability, who was in a nearby premises”.

Judge Andrew Cody said: “Disabled parking spaces are there for people with disabilities or those who are wheelchair bound.”

Mr Meagher said: “I’ve known (my client) for the past 20 years or so. He lives alone and is reliant on his car.”

“How reliant is a disabled person on a disabled parking bay?” asked Judge Cody, adding, “this really annoys me”.

Asking that his client be spared a disqualified from driving, Mr Meagher said: “He lives in a remote area and his car is his lifeline.”

Not accepting Mr Meagher’s request, Judge Cody went on to convict the defendant of the offence, fined him €100 with three months to pay and disqualified him from driving for six months.

“He has to learn to respect disabled parking bays, that they are there for disabled people,” said Judge Cody, before going on to fix recognisances in the event of an appeal.

*Names of defendants in Portlaoise District Court cases are printed in the Laois Nationalist newspaper that is available in your local shop or in our online edition here.


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