Cian Healy must pay up over 'unsafe' tinted windows on Land Rover

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Cian Healy must pay up over 'unsafe' tinted windows on Land Rover

A judge has ruled that dark tinted windows on Cian Healy's all-terrain Land Rover were unsafe.

The Ireland and Leinster prop had to come to Dublin District Court after receiving summonses including one for breaking road traffic regulations by having dark glass fitted on his distinctive '12-reg Land Rover Defender.

However he will be spared a criminal conviction and a fine if he donates €200 to charity, Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain ordered yesterday.

The prosecution came after he was stopped by a traffic garda at the Malahide Road, Dublin on February 23, 2013. The 27-year-old was pleading guilty, his counsel David Staunton told Judge Ni Chulachain.

The court heard that on the afternoon of February 23, 2013, Healy was stopped driving because a garda “could not see into the vehicle”. The traffic garda who pulled Healy over, “could not see if it was a male or a female driving because the windows were blacked out”.

Judge Ni Chulachain heard that when windows on the rugby star's Land Rover were tested, it was found that both the driver's side front window and the front passenger windows were 80 per cent tinted.

Regulations say they cannot be more than 30 per cent tinted, the court was told.

Mr Staunton BL asked the court to note that Healy, from Howth Road, Killester, Dublin, rectified the problem on the spot and the tinting was taken off in the presence of the garda.

Counsel said the rugby star had put the tinting on his car windows for “cosmetic reasons” and he asked the court to note Healy's previous good character, that he pleaded guilty and has no prior criminal convictions.

He now realises there are laws in respect tinted windows, the judge was told. The defence pleaded with the court to leave Healy without a conviction adding that the rugby player was willing to make a charitable donation.

Judge Ni Chulachain did not accept it was “design offence” saying she characterised it as a safety offence, adding it is “very unsafe”.

She held that he must donate €200 to a good cause and she is asked Healy if he would like to nominate a suitable charity, including a sporting one. Healy, who remained standing during the hearing, spoke up and chose Temple Street Children's Hospital, adding “I could do it next week”.

Judge Ni Chulachain gave him until May 15 to pay the money and excused him from having to attend on the next date saying a receipt could be handed in to the court. She said that if it is paid she will strike out the case, which will spare him a conviction.

She also warned him that if the money is not donated by then he will be convicted and given a €200 fine which would have to be paid within three months otherwise he would be jailed for four days in default.

A charge for not having insurance on his vehicle was withdrawn after the court heard gardai were satisfied that his insurance was in order.

Another summons for allegedly driving in a bus lane on September 7, 2013 at the North Strand Road, in Dublin was also withdrawn.