Healy spared conviction for tinted windows after donating €200 to Temple Street Hospital

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Charity: The prop donated €200 to Temple Street Hospital
Charity: The prop donated €200 to Temple Street Hospital

RUGBY star Cian Healy has been spared a court conviction for having unsafe tinted windows on his high-powered Land Rover Defender after he donated €200 to charity.

The Ireland and Leinster prop had pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court last month to breaking road traffic regulations by having dark glass fitted on his distinctive 4X4.

However Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain had ordered that he would be spared a criminal conviction and a fine if he donated €200 to Temple Street Children's Hospital. The case was adjourned until today but Healy had been excused from attending.

His lawyer provided the court with a receipt to show the money had been donated and the case was struck out.

The prosecution arose after he was stopped by a traffic garda at about 3pm on the Malahide Road, Dublin on February 23, 2013.

On the first day in court, on April 30th, defence counsel David Staunton had told Judge Ni Chulachain that Healy was pleading guilty.

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  '12-reg 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 had 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 had 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 had not accepted it was “design offence” saying she characterised it as a safety offence, adding it is “very unsafe”.

She had held that he must donate the €200 to a good cause and Healy had chosen Temple Street Children's Hospital as the beneficiary. Failure to donate the money would have resulted in him getting a conviction and a fine to be paid within three months otherwise he would face three days in jail.