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court hearing Solicitor previously caught with cocaine fined for not producing driving licence

Aonghus McCarthy (35) yesterday was fined €200 at Naas District Court.

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Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy. Photo: Collins Courts

Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy. Photo: Collins Courts

Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy. Photo: Collins Courts

A controversial lawyer has been fined for not producing a driving licence.

Aonghus McCarthy (35) was fined €200 at Naas District Court yesterday for not producing the document when stopped on the M7 motorway in July last year.

The solicitor previously hit the headlines four years ago when he ended up in court after being caught with cocaine while visiting a client in jail.

The Dublin-based solicitor was found with cocaine worth €26 and weighing 0.33 grammes in his wallet while visiting Mountjoy Prison on February 8, 2017.

Cork-born McCarthy maintained someone else put the drugs in his wallet at a party.

Mr McCarthy was then spared a criminal conviction for the cocaine offense after his case was struck out when he donated €1,250 to a drug addiction treatment centre.

Yesterday, Mr McCarthy did not actually appear in court before Judge Alan Mitchell and was represented by barrister Aisling Murphy who said he “sends his apologies” and was unable to attend the hearing.

The Leinster Leader reported that Garda Redmond stated the defendant was driving a VW Scirocco when stopped on July 10, 2020 on the M7 motorway at Mayfield.

The defendant, whose address was given as Daneswell Place, Glasnevin, Dublin. stated he did not have his licence but added he would produce it at Mountjoy garda station, however he failed to do so.

Ms Murphy said that Mr McCarthy’s licence was produced outside the ten days.

She asked for the case to be struck out, adding that an allegation of failure to produce a licence is withdrawn by the State in court “100 per cent of the time”, if the document is produced.

Ms Murphy added that Mr McCarthy is apologetic and this would be the first time she has seen the State not withdraw the allegation.

Inspector Paul Reilly said the State would not withdraw the case, adding that he was asked at the time to produce the licence.

Sgt Brian Jacob told the court that the defendant had a previous conviction for no insurance dating back almost nine years and was fined €400.

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Judge Alan Mitchell imposed a €200 fine for failing to produce the licence and an allegation of failing to do so within ten days was taken into consideration. He said there is an obligation on drivers to have their licence with them, though it’s rarely prosecuted.

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Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy

Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy

Solicitor Aonghus McCarthy

Earlier this Summer McCarthy had a blazing courtroom row with a top judge – with both of them declaring at each other: “I’m not going to be intimidated or bullied by you”.

District Court Judge Catherine Staines told Mr McCarthy that she had never experienced behaviour like his during her 11 years as a judge.

“I have never experienced behaviour like yours,” the Leinster Express reported her saying at a hearing in Portlaoise court in June.

She said she would not be “intimidated or bullied”.

As she rose to leave the court Mr McCarthy replied: “I won’t be intimidated or bullied either."

The exchange which arose during a bail hearing of a client of Mr McCarthy's who was before the court charged with possession of cocaine and possession for sale or supply in Co Laois on May 14 this year.

Gardaí objected to bail and the judge refused bail saying she accepted the Garda concerns that had been outlined.

Mr McCarthy protested and continued advancing his case after the judge’s decision, saying she was not giving him a chance to hear him out.

The judge initially relented but then told McCarthy that was her decision. Mr McCarthy continued to protest.

Upon returning from lunch Judge Staines said she had given the matter some thought.

“I don’t believe I was biased in any way,” she stated.

But she said she vacating her order refusing bail and that the defendant should appear before the next available judge, possibly at Cloverhill that afternoon.

Mr McCarthy told her that he was seeking the Digital Audio Recording (DAR) from the court for Thursday May 20 and for December 22.

She told him she had no problem making them available to him.

Earlier the same month he had another court appearance on the wrong side of the dock when he was convicted by Judge Staines in Portlaoise court of speeding offence at the M7 Cappakeel Co Laois on October 15 2020.

She fined him €200. A recognisance of €100 was fixed in the event of an appeal.

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