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Former Sinn Fein TD’s partner free to drive until November despite two year driving ban

Violet Anne Wynne’s partner John Mountaine (40) received a third driving ban after his third conviction for driving with no insurance
John Montaine

John Montaine

Gordon DeeganSunday World

The partner of former Sinn Fein TD, Violet Anne Wynne is free to drive until November at least despite receiving a two year driving ban last month.

This follows John Mountaine (40) formerly of Pella Rd, Kilrush, Co Clare not appearing in court in Kilrush to press ahead with his circuit court appeal of the two year driving ban and the case has now been adjourned to November for hearing.

At Ennis District Court last month, Judge Mary Larkin imposed the third driving ban on Mr Mountaine after his third conviction for driving with no insurance.

Mr Mountaine has 16 previous convictions and they include two for driving with no insurance dating from June 2014 when Mr Montaine was banned from driving for two years and in 2012 when he received a one year driving ban.

Judge Larkin imposed a two year ban on the latest offence of Mr Mountaine driving with no insurance while driving a 192 registered black Ford Grand C-Max at Decomede, Lissycasey, Co Clare on February 8th 2021.

Mr Mountaine is also appealing a drugs possession conviction where Judge Larkin imposed a fine of €100 after Mr Montaine pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of cannabis at the former family home at Pella Rd, Kilrush on February 11th last.

Judge Francis Comerford told Kilrush Circuit Court that the appeal being lodged against the driving ban means that “the disqualification is not taking effect”.

State Solicitor for Clare, Aisling Casey told Judge Comerford “that is correct”.

Solicitor for Mr Mountaine, Patrick Moylan told Judge Comerford at Kilrush Circuit Court “I didn’t know that the appeal was in today as it wasn’t on the public court list and I didn’t make contact with Mr Mountaine.”

Seeking an adjournment, Mr Moylan repeated his revelation from court last week that Mr Mountaine “is homeless in Longford”.

Mr Moylan said: “He is in personal difficulty”.

Judge Comerford said: “I accept that Mr Mountaine has the difficulties you are outlining but it is his obligation to prosecute the appeal.”

Ms Casey told the court that she didn’t think there could be any change to the driving ban concerning any appeal against severity.

The next date for district court appeals at Kilrush is November 22nd and Mr Moylan said that the adjournment will allow him get instructions from his client.

In the district court, Mr Moylan told Judge Larkin that Mr Montaine is paying €500 a month on his insurance policy and believed that he was insured on the date.

Mr Moylan said that Mr Montaine “has misunderstood the law in relation to insurance”.

Judge Larkin said: “He had no cover as he had a provisional licence. If he has a provision licence, he must be accompanied.”

Mr Moylan said: “He accepts that now but at the time genuinely believed that he was insured as he was paying a substantial amount for his insurance policy.”

Sgt Louis Moloney said that Mr Montaine has two previous convictions for possession of drugs of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Mr Moylan told the district court that there are particular circumstances around Mr Montaine’s guilty plea concerning the possession of cannabis.

Mr Moylan said: “Mr Montaine is an epileptic and he gets fits and seizures and they were so severe in the past that Mr Montaine has lost most of his teeth."

Mr Moylan said that Mr Montaine’s neurologist had prescribed various drugs without success and the seizures continued.

Mr Moylan said that eventually, Mr Montaine started using THC where the cannabis is put through a filtration process to produce the oil and he was putting one drop of that on his gums each day and this stopped the seizures.

In February, Deputy Wynne resigned from Sinn Fein in controversial circumstances.

The mother of six resigned from Sinn Féin alleging “psychological warfare” and said her recent pregnancy had been used as a “further stick to beat me with”. Deputy Wynne is continuing as an independent TD for Clare.

Last month, Deputy Wynne said that she and her six children were homeless and she remained hopeful for a positive outcome and that her family will find a suitable home.

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