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Charity chief escapes speeding rap

NIALL Mellon, the philanthropist who runs a house building programme for poor communities in South Africa, has been spared a speeding conviction after paying €250 to a charity fighting homelessness in Ireland.

The businessman and charity boss had to appear at Dublin District Court yesterday as a result of the non-payment of an €80 fixed penalty notice speeding fine.

Judge Michael Coghlan heard that the 46-year-old's car had been detected driving at 65kph in a zone governed by a 50kph speed limit, on August 1 last year, at Auburn Avenue, in Castleknock, Dublin.

A fixed penalty notice was sent to his address but was not paid.

Mellon, of Goatstown, Dublin, told Judge Coghlan that he normally resided at his given address but he added that he spends a lot of time overseas.


The businessman, who is well known for the Niall Mellon Township Trust which builds homes for the poor in South Africa, said he would have paid the penalty notice if it had been received and he then showed the judge a folder containing all his motoring documentation.

"My wife's system is better than An Post," he said, adding that anything to do with his car was "meticulously kept" by her in the folder.

"If she had received it she would have contacted me," he explained before he told the judge: "I have more to be doing than being here today, I'm supposed to be overseas."

Judge Coghlan told him to pay €250 to the court poor box, for the benefit of the Focus Ireland charity which helps combat homelessness, and he added that if that was done the case would be struck out.

Mellon paid over the money at the court's office and later produced a receipt resulting in the strike-out which also sees him spared a conviction and the possibility of having penalty points recorded in relation to the speeding incident.