Judge John Coughlan
A local district court judge has warned that he won’t allow insurance companies use his court as ‘a dummy run’ for defending civil actions.
Judge John Coughlan made the comment twice last Wednesday in dealing with three separate prosecutions – two of which were linked to the same alleged incident.
Michael Hand (47) of Hilllbrooke House, Mountainstown,Dunleer was summonsed for careless driving, driving without insurance and failing to produce a certificate of roadworthiness or his insurance, arising out of a collision on the R13 at Mullins Cross, Castlebellingham on May 9th last year.
Judge Coughlan told the Defence solicitor “I won’t allow my court be used as a dummy court for insurance companies”.
The Defence solicitor explained that his client didn’t discover until he was involved in a minor accident that there was a problem with his insurance. He said a cheque had been sent to his insurance broker, but he had not been advised that it was not received.
Judge Coughlan put back the other summonses to the fifth of December and convicted and fined him €75 for driving without insurance saying “I’m not blaming your client”.
Two other defendants being prosecuted following an alleged collision at Lynns, Annagassan on February seventh last year, had their cases put back to the same date for mention.
Judge Coughlan told both of them to go to the High Court or Circuit Court for the civil court and repeated his assertion that his court would not be used by insurance companies for a dummy run and added: “You can quote to me to the Garda Commissioner”.