Carrick-on-Shannon District Court.
A motorist who applied for a renewal of her driving licence only for authorities to discover the original licence was a fake was given the benefit of the Probation Act by Judge Kevin P Kilrane at last week’s sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon District Court.
Giving summary evidence Inspector Denis Harrington told the court the defendant, Maria O'Neill, made an application for a renewal of her driving licence but it was discovered the original licence was not a genuine document.
After questioning, Insp Harrington said Ms O'Neill admitted getting the fake licence in America.
Ms O'Neill appeared before court charged with using a false instrument at NDLS, Townparks, Carrick-on-Shannon on September 5, 2017.
Defending solicitor Peter Collins said the defendant Maria O’Neill, River Lodge, Knockashee, Boyle, Co Roscommon emigrated to live in America in 1999. He added that she was illegal in the US and was having difficulty obtaining ID.
Mr Collins informed the court, “She paid an individual for what she thought was a genuine Irish licence.”
Mr Collins added, “A lack of green card and three children meant she returned (to Ireland) 18 months ago. She went to renew her licence thinking it was a genuine licence.”
Having heard the evidence Judge Kilrane remarked, “I have to take it she knew it was a fraudulent licence. An Irish licence, it doesn’t just fall off the back of a lorry. I have to proceed on the basis she knew it was fraudulent.”
Insp Harrington informed the court Ms O’Neill has no previous convictions while Mr Collins said she is in receipt of social welfare.
Judge Kilrane concluded matters saying, “I’ll give her a chance,” and gave Ms Collins the benefit of the Probation Act. Legal aid was assigned to Mr Collins.