Reality show star acted 'arrogantly' over driving offence
Published 17/04/2013 | 05:00
'DUBLIN Wives' star Danielle Meagher dangerously passed out a line of vehicles, then accused the investigating garda of bullying her because she was driving "a nice car", a court heard.
The celebrity botox doctor was convicted over the incident after she admitted performing the undertaking manoeuvre in heavy traffic as she drove from Galway to Dublin.
Meagher (37), who featured in TV3 reality show 'Dublin Wives, was fined €750 and ordered to pay €300 in witness expenses after she pleaded guilty to the charge at Kilcock District Court.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said the accused's "arrogant approach" to the case was "frightening" and that the allegation of bullying by the garda was a "silly excuse".
The court heard Garda Kevin Molyneaux of Donnybrook station was off duty and driving on the M4 at Ballynakill, Enfield, Co Meath on the evening of July 8, 2012.
Several cars in front were waiting to overtake a slow-moving vehicle when Meagher, of Goatstown, south Dublin, approached in her white Range Rover.
She undertook the line of cars on the left-hand side then pulled into the overtaking lane without indicating. This caused a "domino effect" of braking cars on the road.
Gda Molyneaux noted the registration and called to Meagher's home the following day. He told her what he had observed and demanded to see her licence and insurance.
"She implied that I was bullying her because she had a nice car", Gda Molyneaux said.
The accused subsequently failed to produce her documents within 10 days, but had them in court on the morning of the hearing yesterday.
Meagher had been "up front" about the fact that she was driving when the garda called to her house, her barrister Martin Collins said.
The court heard Meagher had a previous conviction for driving across a median strip in 2008 and had had a charge of driving while holding a mobile phone struck out in the same year on payment of a charity donation.
There was "no real excuse" for her manner of driving, Mr Collins said. It was very foolish and "shouldn't have happened".
"I never heard such a silly excuse, being bullied because of a nice car", Judge Zaidan said.
"Has she heard of the word patience? Lots of accidents are caused by impatient drivers doing silly things. The arrogant approach to all this is frightening. She wasn't very pleasant to the garda who had a job to do".
Meagher had apologised to the garda, the court heard, and had not comprehended that she had to bring her documents to the gardai within 10 days. Judge Zaidan said the "dogs in the street" knew this.
The court heard the defendant was self employed in "aesthetics medicine" and a qualified dentist.
Fining Meagher, the judge gave her 90 days to pay with 90 days in prison in default. He did not disqualify her from driving.
Speaking after the case, Meagher said: "I have the utmost respect for members of An Garda Siochana and I understand they do a very good job."
She explained that on the morning the garda called to her house, she was "very surprised".
"I was wearing very little, I had a 'Finding Nemo' towel and a shower cap on, one leg was shaven and the other was unshaven. I got a big fright. My family were away and I thought it was bad news."