Technicality fails to prevent driver's fine
BALLYMURN Lower is still Ballymurn, Judge John Lindsay ruled last week. He was dealing with the prosecution of forestry worker Fiach O'Connor (47) from Ballylucas in Ballymurn who stood charged by Garda Niall Brophy of drink driving on the evening of September 9 last.
On the date in question, the defendant was arrested and a breath sample showed that he was over the legal alcohol limit.
The Garda stated that he pulled O'Connor's Hyundai jeep up in the village of Ballymurn and the defendant was charged accordingly.
However, the location of the arrest was repeatedly challenged by the defence. Solicitor John O'Leary produced a map to suggest that the place of arrest was beyond the village, outside the home of Hugh and Bridget Byrne. Engineer Martin Sinnott was called to advise the court on the local geography. He stated that there is no townland of Ballymurn.
The arrest scene as pointed out to him by the accused was in Ballymurn Upper. Any planning application submitted with the place name Ballymurn would be invalid, the engineer suggested.
'This is not a planning application,' responded the judge setting a fine of €100 and putting O'Connor off the road for two years.