Friday 23 March 2018

Former Labour TD faces dangerous-driving charge

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Gordon Deegan

Former TD Michael McNamara has appeared in court charged with dangerous driving and obstructing a Garda during the course of his duties.

Mr McNamara (43) appeared in relation to the two alleged offences at Killaloe District Court, sitting at O'Donovan's pub in Ballina.

The former Labour TD for Co Clare is pleading his innocence to the charges and will contest the prosecution at a hearing later this year.

In the case, Mr McNamara is charged with dangerous driving contrary to Section 53 (1) of the Road Traffic Act near his home at Tobernagath, Scarriff, in east Clare, on December 10, 2016.

Mr McNamara, of Ballyglass, Scarriff, is also charged with resisting and obstructing Garda Darren McLaughlin during the course of his duties under Section 19 of the Public Order Act at the same location of the alleged dangerous driving on the same date.

Those convicted in the district court of obstructing a Garda in the course of their duties face a jail sentence of up to six months or a fine of €635, while those convicted of dangerous driving in the district court face up to six months in jail and a fine of €127.

The alleged offences took place almost 10 months after Mr McNamara lost his seat in the 2016 General Election.

Judge Brian O'Shea was told the case would take two hours when evidence is heard in the case in December.

The former TD was in court yesterday for the brief hearing into the case where Judge O'Shea ordered all that State documents be disclosed to the defence.

Mr McNamara consulted with his legal team outside court after the hearing.

Judge O'Shea yesterday adjourned the case to October 25 at Ennis District Court for mention to get an update on the disclosure issues, and adjourned the case for hearing at Killaloe District Court to December 5.

Mr McNamara lost his Clare seat in February 2016 to Dr Michael Harty after the east Clare GP polled 4,472 first-preference votes.

Irish Independent

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