A SPEEDING beauty queen, clocked by garda driving at 187kph because she was late for an orthodontist's appointment, escaped a driving ban after a judge praised her absolute honesty.
At Ennis District Court, Gemma Reilly - crowned Miss Limerick in 2010 - was fined €500 after pleading guilty to speeding on the Ennis to Gort motorway on March 3.
Reilly of Riverpoint Apartments, Lower Mallow Street, Limerick city, entered the plea after gardai clocked her driving her mother's 12-registered Mercedes 220 at 187kph in a 120kph zone at Srangalloon, Crusheen, Co Clare
"I agree with the garda's evidence that I was speeding," Reilly told the court.
Judge Patrick Durcan asked Reilly - who didn't have any legal representation in court - to go into the witness box to give sworn evidence "and tell me why you were driving at 187km per hour".
Reilly, who was beaten by model Rosanna Purcell to the Miss Universe Ireland title in 2010, said that her orthodontist is based in Galway "and I was extremely late for an appointment. I was driving my mother's car and didn't realise how fast I was going".
Judge Durcan asked her "why shouldn't I disqualify you from holding a driver's licence with the speed you travelling at?"
In response Reilly said: "I'm usually very diligent. I drive a 1.4 Golf myself. I have never been speeding before.
"This was my mother's car, it wasn't my own and I had a friend in the car with me," she said.
Asked to tell the judge something about herself, Reilly said that she is between jobs at the moment after just finishing up work as a receptionist at the Adare Manor hotel in Co Limerick.
Reilly told Judge Durcan that she will never speed again.
In his ruling, Judge Durcan fined her €500 for the speeding offence.
"I am not disqualifying you from holding a driver's licence because you have been absolutely honest in how you have dealt with the matter and I want to commend you on that," the judge said.