Toll plaza barrier nearly hit defendant's car, court hears
The barrier nearly struck Gary Rafferty's car and he was "foolish to be driving so quickly", a court heard.
Rafferty (32), was fined €500 at Dublin District Court for careless driving.
The accused, a joiner and building site foreman from Ballybrolly Road, Tassagh, Co Armagh, pleaded guilty.
He had originally been accused of dangerous driving but Judge Bryan Smyth reduced the charge after hearing the evidence.
The incident happened at the toll plaza at Dublin Port Tunnel, southbound, at 6.50am on June 1.
The accused's vehicle tailgated another at a distance of less than one metre and it appeared to gardaí that the reason was to pass through without paying the fee.
The barrier almost hit the top of his car as it went through, a garda said.
The court heard there was a lot of traffic using the tunnel including vehicles carrying fuel and hazardous chemicals.
Rafferty had no previous convictions.
He had had a fob for the toll and did not realise it had not worked, his solicitor Ruth Walsh said.
It was an error and he was "foolish to be driving so quickly in such a built-up area", she said.
Nothing of this nature had happened before or since, she added.
Judge Smyth said it was hard to understand why the accused did what he did.