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Cork woman drove to hospital appointment despite driving ban

A MOTORIST who was banned from driving because of three previous counts of having no insurance was caught again when she decided to drive to hospital for a medical appointment.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the accused was facing the prospect of going to jail yesterday at Cork District Court because of the amount of previous convictions for the same offence and the fact that she was a disqualified driver.

Catherine O’Donovan, aged 44, who lives at an apartment at Island View, Gortmacmee, Carrignavar, Co Cork, pleaded with Judge Olann Kelleher through her solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher not to jail her.

The defence solicitor said: “I have never seen someone on so much medication.

“She is on 15 different medications. She is also getting injections for her spine every three months.”

Mr Kelleher proceeded to itemise the medications the defendant was using.

Judge Olann Kelleher said: “But she is driving while disqualified.”

The solicitor said: “She had to get hospital and she took a chance. She went to live in Carrignavar to get away from difficulties with addiction to heroin. That succeeded in one way but it has had the effect of isolating herself in Carrignavar.”

Judge Kelleher said: “Does she know she could go to jail for driving while disqualified?”

The solicitor said O’Donovan now appreciated that but on the day she took a chance to make a medical appointment.

The judge said: “I will give her one last opportunity.”

The judge imposed a five-month prison sentence but agreed to suspend it on condition that she would not re-offend in the next two years.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the incident that alerted Garda Kieran Barrett to her driving occurred at North Mall, Cork, on September 7, 2019.

Judge Kelleher said it was bad enough that she was driving without insurance but then she was also driving through a red light.

He fined her €100 in addition for that offence.