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In Brief: Dad drove with no insurance

A FATHER of two caught driving without insurance had been buying Christmas presents, a court heard.

James Gannon (31) was driving his partner's VW Golf and said he thought he was insured to drive.

Judge James McDonnell fined Gannon €500, banned him from driving for four years and ordered him to complete 200 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.

The defendant, of Drumcairn Park in Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to driving without insurance on December 16.

Defence solicitor Eddie O'Connor said Gannon, an unemployed father-of-two, had taken his partner's car to do the Christmas shopping.

Salvage starts on stricken ship

SALVAGE experts were today preparing to pump more oil off a stricken container ship off the New Zealand coast.

The Liberian Rena has been stuck for nine days on a reef 22 km off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, spilling about 300 tonnes of toxic fuel.

Salvage teams were back on board the ship today preparing to cut holes in the stern to get to the 1,000 tonne fuel tanks.

Plane crash kills 28 people

TWENTY-eight people were killed and four others survived when their plane crashed into the remote forests of Papua New Guinea.

The survivors include an Australian pilot.

The twin-propeller plane crashed yesterday while flying from Lae to the resort hub of Madang on the South Pacific island nation's north coast.

Most of the passengers were parents travelling to attend their children's graduation ceremony in Madang.

Judges have ditched wigs

JUDGES were allowed to let their hair down for the first time today as they are no longer required to wear wigs in court.

The Superior Courts Rules Committee approved a change to the rules, removing the requirement for judges of the Supreme Court and High Court to wear ceremonial wigs, which cost the State around €2,200 each, during court sittings.