At Ennis District Court, Judge Alec Gabbett imposed the one year driving ban on Kevanne McNamara after Sgt Louis Moloney told the court that on July 20th last, Ms McNamara was observed driving on the wrong side of the road and colliding with a temporary fence.
Sgt Moloney said that another driver on the R494 Rd into Ballina “had to take evasive action to avoid a collision”.
Sgt Moloney said that no injuries arose from Kevanne McNamara’s driving her 11 registered red Mercedes Benz on the date.
Ms McNamara of Ard Coillte, Ballina, Co Tipperary, had indicated a plea of guilty to dangerous driving but Sgt Moloney said that a dangerous driving charge requires a high threshold and that on a review of the facts a plea to careless driving was acceptable to the Gardai.
As a result, Ms McNamara has escaped an automatic two year driving ban for dangerous driving and instead Judge Gabbett imposed a one year driving ban for careless driving.
Solicitor for Kevanne McNamara, Daragh Hassett said that his client “was a little bit rudderless”, “was a little bit on her own” and was suffering with her mental health around the time of the driving offence but is now back on her feet.
Mr Hassett said that Ms McNamara has recently qualified as a beautician after passing her exams “and this will hopefully lead her to gaining full time work”.
The careless driving incident took place three months after Ms McNamara’s father, Adrian died in April of last year.
Mr Hassett said Kevanne “has had a hard couple of years”.
He said: “Kevanne's father died last year. He was a good friend to Kevanne.”
Mr Hassett said that Ms McNamara is willing to take her medicine with the one year driving ban but asked that the ban be deferred for six months.
In total, Ms McNamara was facing charges concerning four driving related alleged offences that include two counts of dangerous driving from the same day in July last year.
However, Mr Hassett said that the State was happy that a guilty plea to a single charge from Ms Kevanne’s driving was sufficient to meet the case and the State was not proceeding on the other three charges.
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One of the other charges that the State did not proceed with was a charge of Ms McNamara driving her car under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to render her incapable of having proper control of her car at Main Street, Ballina on July 20th 2021.
Sgt Moloney said that Ms McNamara had five previous driving related convictions.
As part of his order, Judge Gabbett also imposed a fine of €500. Ms McNamara only spoke in court to say 'thank you' to Judge Gabbett after he imposed sentence before leaving.
In court last October, Ms McNamara escaped a drugs conviction for the possession of €50 worth of cocaine at her home on October 23rd 2020 after agreeing to pay €150 to the court Poor Box.