Judge bans motorist for parking in disabled spot
A JUDGE is putting people off the road for six months if they are caught illegally parking in spaces reserved for disabled drivers.
Judge Patrick Durcan banned Clare woman Deirdre O'Connor from driving for six months after she failed to pay an €80 fine for illegally parking in a disabled parking space in Ennis's Lower Market Street on December 28.
O'Connor, of Drumown, Ballynacally, Co Clare, was not in Ennis District Court for yesterday's hearing and she was not legally represented.
She had no previous convictions relating to parking offences and, along with the ban, Judge Durcan imposed a fine of €750 and also ordered her to pay the town council's costs of €100.
Although he didn't pass comment when banning O'Connor, Judge Durcan has previously described the offence as "despicable".
O'Connor is the latest person to fall victim to Judge Durcan's hard-line banning of drivers who illegally park in disabled spots.
Activist with the Disabled People of Clare Dermot Hayes welcomed the judge's policy as "very welcome and very progressive".
"We have been calling for tougher sanctions for a long time to people who park illegally in disabled parking spots," he said.
"What the judge is doing here is fantastic.
"I would have no sympathy for anyone that parks in a disabled space. There is no excuse for it.
"I would hope that other judges would follow."