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Monkey case man now gets 10-year driving ban

A CHILDREN'S soccer coach – who was previously ordered to complete community service after he was caught with a stolen monkey – has been sentenced to four months in prison for driving without insurance.

Paul Murtagh (29) claimed he couldn't afford to buy insurance and he only used his vehicle to collect his children from school and to bring them to football matches.

Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a four-month sentence, banned Murtagh from driving for 10 years and fined him €550.

He immediately appealed the matter and was released on bail.

Last November, Murtagh was ordered to carry out community service after he was caught with a stolen Marmoset monkey in his car at Ravensdale Road, East Wall on October 1, 2012, after it had been taken during a burglary in Co Kildare.

The two-and-a-half year old monkey, known as Alvin, died one month after he was stolen due to depression, his owner Jennifer Murphy said.


Earlier this week, Murtagh, of Birchdale Park in Kinsealy, admitted before Swords District Court to two counts of driving without insurance.

He also pleaded guilty to a number of documentary matters, including driving without a driving licence, using a false NCT certificate and no road tax.

The incidents took place at Feltrim Road in Swords on September 2, 2012, when gardai seized his vehicle, and at Malahide Road in Swords on April 17, 2013, when he had a fake NCT certificate.

The court heard Murtagh has 35 previous convictions, including seven previous convictions for driving without insurance.

Imposing the four-month sentence, Judge Dempsey said Murtagh had shown total disregard for road traffic legislation.