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guilty plea Driving Ban - TV interior designer caught behind wheel while disqualified

She has four previous convictions including for failing to provide a breath sample where a four year driving ban was handed down.

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Anne Marie Hamill

Anne Marie Hamill

Anne Marie Hamill

AN INTERIOR designer who featured on Virgin Media’s Showhouse Showdown and RTE’s Roomers has been further banned from driving after she was caught driving uninsured and while already disqualified.

Anne Marie Hamill (49) - who describes herself on Twitter as an interior designer with bases in Dublin and Louth and 15 years experience - was ten months into a four year driving ban when she was caught driving again by gardai.

The mother-of-three received that driving ban when she was found parked halfway into the hard shoulder of a motorway with an open bottle of vodka on the seat of her car on January 14, 2019.

She had failed three times to provide a breath sample and claimed she was unable to catch a breath because she had a chest infection and was on antibiotics and steroid medication.

However, at that court hearing Judge Dermot Dempsey found her guilty of failing to provide the breath sample and handed her the mandatory four year driving ban for such an offence.

The judge also convicted and fined her €750.

Ten months later, Hamill, of Tenure in Dunleer in Co Louth was stopped by gardai in Killineer, Co Louth on July 23, 2020.

And at last week’s sitting of Drogheda District Court, the 49-year-old entered a guilty plea to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

She has four previous convictions including the failing to provide a breath sample conviction where the four year driving ban was handed down.

Drogheda District Court heard Hamill only drove to her friend’s house to get medicine.

“She drove when she shouldn’t have,” defence solicitor Dermot Monahan told the court.

Mr Monahan also stated that Hamill’s interior design business is no longer due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

"She has struggled with alcohol,” Mr Monahan added.

Slamming Hamill’s decision to drive while disqualified and without insurance, Judge Eirinn McKiernan remarked: “You can’t do that. What if you had an accident?

“You have to understand you can’t be driving when disqualified. If you are off the road, you are off the road,” the judge said, and imposed a four year driving ban, a conviction and €400 fine.

Hamill, whose interior design business catered for corporate and private clients, previously appeared on Roomers, presented by Neville Knott, in 2011 where three designers were challenged to overhaul rooms in homes across the country.

She also appeared on Showhouse Showdown, presented by Knott and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, where two designers went head to head to transform identical properties.

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