“I don’t think it’s improving” former garda tells Judge

Suspended sentence for axe attack on family car in Carrick-on-Shannon

Carrick-on-Shannon Courthouse

“I did 34 years in the Guards and I don't think it's improving,” an 83-year-old defendant told Judge Kevin Kilrane when he appeared at Carrick-on-Shannon District Court on Friday, July 24, charged with speeding and a number of other motoring offences.

Appearing before the court was Stephen Tonra, 10 Forest View, Boyle, Co Roscommon charged with the offences which occurred on September 4, 2019 at Grevisk, Boyle.

Garda Padraig Kelly said he detected the defendant's vehicle pulling a trailer at a speed of 101kp/h in an 80kp/h zone at Grevisk, Boyle on that date.

He followed and stopped the defendant. He said the trailer was in a poor condition and a fixed charged penalty notice for the speeding and the trailer lights was issued and not paid. A certificate of roadworthiness (DoE certificate) was not produced.

Mr Tonra said the certificate was produced and was in order. He told the court his name is Liam S Tonra and all his transactions are carried out as Liam Tonra.

“He never asked me for my name, he asked me for my driver's licence. He said I was doing 101 at Ardcarne and when I got the ticket it said Grevisk which is three or four miles closer to Boyle,” he said.

Mr Tonra said the garda lectured him for not wearing a seat belt when he in fact took it off in the garda's presence. He also said the summons was posted to him on April 21 in the middle of the pandemic when people were cocooning.

He said the standard lights were on the trailer. It was 4pm on a September day and the garda didn't allege any offence about the lighting at the time. Mr Tonra said he had the trailer lights plugged in and the garda didn't ask him to check the lights.

“I did 34 years in the Guards and I don't think it's improving,” he remarked.

Mr Tonra told Judge Kilrane that he passed out in the Gardai in 1959 and the Commissioner at the time told them that for minor matters a caution would always suffice.

Judge Kilrane said, in all circumstances, he would strike out the proceedings.

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