News Irish News

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Judge suspends jail sentence for driving offences

By TOM SHIEL AUDREY Flynn, daughter of Ireland's former EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn, was given a suspended prison sentence yesterday for...

AUDREY Flynn, daughter of Ireland's former EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn, was given a suspended prison sentence yesterday for driving children to school in an uninsured bus.

She was also fined a total of £6,800 and banned from driving for 10 years.

Ms Flynn (32) bowed her head at the rear of Castlebar courtroom but showed no emotion as Judge Mary Devins imposed a string of penalties for serious road traffic offences.

The 46 summonses against Ms Flynn, of 5 Manor Village, Castlebar, Co Mayo, included not having a Public Service (PSV) licence to drive a school bus; no insurance for the vehicle and making false declarations to obtain a PSV licence and insurance.

Ms Flynn, accompanied in court by one of her sisters, was sentenced to a total of nine months in prison on the PSV and insurance charges, but the warrant was suspended on condition that no road traffic offences are committed by her for a period of 12 months. Her father was not in court.

At Castlebar Court last month Judge Mary Devins adjourned sentence on Ms Flynn, a creche owner in Castlebar. She ordered a professional opinion on the defendant, from an appropriate medical person, either a psychologist or psychiatrist.

On that occasion the Judge fined Mark Winters, Ms Flynn's partner, a total of £1,075 for insurance and tax offences, having no driving licence and no certificate of roadworthiness. He was disqualified from driving for a total of three years on the insurance charges.

When the matter arose yesterday Judge Devins said she was in possession of the report she had requested and had the necessary time to consider it.

Ms Flynn's solicitor Pat Moran said he did not intend to comment on the contents of the report.

He said that in mitigation he wanted to refer to the personal circumstances of the defendant. She was 32, a single parent, a mother with a young baby. She was now living alone with the baby.

Mr Moran pointed out that Miss Flynn ran a creche and montessori school which catered for a considerable number of young people. Ms Flynn needed certification to run that business.

The defendant was a responsible citizen, apart from her unfortunate involvement in the matters before the court.

Judge Devins said she found the psychological report to be of considerable assistance. There were 46 summonses before the court to which the defendant had pleaded guilty and there were nine dates in total involved.

After the judge imposed fines, Mr Moran asked for an extension of time to six months to pay them. This was granted by the judge.

After hearing the evidence at the January sitting, Judge Devins said she had formed a very definite opinion that Ms Flynn had attempted to mislead the court and perhaps even her own solicitor.

She found Ms Flynn's attitude to be one of ``completely breathtaking arrogance''. The defendant seemed unable to acknowledge the reality of the situation she was facing.

Last month's hearing was told that Ms Flynn and her partner had got out of the public service vehicle business because of difficulties which had arisen.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News