Jim Mansfield Jnr fails to get license reinstated

Jim Mansfield Jnr
Jim Mansfield Jnr

BUSINESSMAN Jim Mansfield Jnr has failed in his legal bid to get his driving licence restored.

Mansfield, who was given a five-year road ban in 2011, needed his licence to help care for his elderly mother and to run his businesses, Dublin District Court was told.

But Judge Aeneas McCarthy refused after hearing garda objections. This means Mansfield, 48, will have to stay off the road until his driving ban runs its course and expires in July next year.

Half-way through a period of disqualification, a banned driver is entitled to make an application to the district court to consider restoring their licence.

However, Garda George Thurlow, from the Traffic Corps based in Dublin Castle, opposed Mansfield's attempt.

Mansfield – a son of the late hotelier, businessman and airport owner Jim Mansfield Snr – had been given the five-year road ban after he was caught driving without insurance on November 26, 2010.

At the time he was stopped he was already subject to a driving disqualification imposed by a court in October 2010 but he had had not surrendered his licence, said Gda Thurlow. Mansfield had also told the garda that he was not disqualified but the officer found out that this was untrue when he checked with the “driving licence authority”.

“Then I discovered he was disqualified,” Gda Thurlow said. Explaining why the case has been before the court on three dates, he said Mansfield gave a 1967 date of birth when he was stopped. However the driving licence authority said that no one with that birth date and name has ever held a driving licence.

His birth certificate was checked and showed that he was born on same date but in 1966. Gda Thurlow said licences Mansfield had, "for the last 20 years, had incorrect dates of birth".

Gda Thurlow said Mansfield had two previous convictions for drink-driving.

Mansfield, dressed in a black overcoat, blue and white striped shirt and dark trouser,  stood silently as his solicitor, Tony Hughes pleaded on his behalf for his licence to be restored.

Mr Hughes argued that the court had discretion and could consider a number of issues. He said Mansfield is a well known businessman with extensive business interests in Ireland; he had not been in trouble since getting the driving ban and he has taken over the family business from his father.

“He is living with his elderly mother and is caring for her,” Mr Hughes said. “To restore the licence would be a great benefit in terms of the business and his elderly mother,” the solicitor said, adding that his client is more than three years into the disqualification period.

However, Judge McCarthy refused on the grounds that Mansfield had been driving while already disqualified.