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Motorist banned from driving for six months and fined €750 for parking in disabled bay

Judge Patrick Durcan said that the accused, who did not turn up in court, had “a boorish nature”.

Image: Rollingnews

A JUDGE HAS banned a motorist from driving for six months after the driver’s car was found parked in a disabled parking space in Ennis.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that Andrew Ryan of Bridge Court, Tulla Rd, Ennis “should be ashamed of himself” after his car was found parked in a disabled parking spot at the Parnell Street car park in Ennis on 5 May this year.

Judge Durcan said that Ryan has “a boorish nature” and that his behaviour in parking his car in the disabled parking spot was “contemptible”.

“Parking bays for disabled people are provided for by local authorities for a particular purpose and thankfully today, we have modern technology and engineering that enables disabled people to use motor vehicles” he said.

Judge Durcan said that to add further to this, Ryan did not bother to turn up in court.

He banned Ryan from driving for six months by way of ancillary order and also imposed a €750 fine on the man.

Disability rights campaigner and member of Clare Leader Forum, Dermot Hayes, yesterday welcomed the judge’s ruling.

He said: “We are sick and tired of drivers abusing these designated spaces for disabled parking.

“We have fought long and hard to get designated parking spaces in towns and villages across Co Clare and beyond.

“There can be no excuse for drivers as the spaces are so well marked.”

Hayes welcomed the judge imposing the driving ban and said that he hopes it will act as a deterrent to others.

He said able-bodied drivers parking in disabled car spaces was down “to ignorance and the ‘just a minute’ syndrome”. 

“In some cases, motorists don’t give a damn,” he said. “Traffic wardens should be given the power to clamp the cars concerned.”

Corporate Affairs Manager with the AA, Conor Faughnan said: “To park in a  car park space for disabled motorists is appalling behaviour.

“It is very difficult to have any sympathy in such a case especially when the driver doesn’t turn up in court.”

However, Faughnan said: “Relative to the penalties for other motoring offences, a six-month ban is a pretty severe punishment.” 

Ryan’s ban follows another sitting in front of Judge Durcan in July, when 11 motorists were banned for 28 days after they did not show up in court, including one woman before the court accused of having ‘bald’ tyres on her car.

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Gordon Deegan

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