Comedian Katherine Lynch played the role of defence lawyer yesterday when she was ordered to donate €100 to charity for travelling on a train without a ticket.
The host of RTÉ’s Katherine Lynch’s Big Fat Breakfast Show appeared at Dublin District Court to face prosecution for fare evasion on Nov 10, 2011.
She was spared a conviction, fine, and a possible two-day jail term after she complied with an order by Judge John Lindsay to donate €100 to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
Ms Lynch said she did not want anyone to think she was dodging a fare, but minutes later cheered “free at last” as she left courthouse.
Irish Rail inspector Eric Quinn got on the Dublin-Sligo train at Maynooth to check tickets. Ms Lynch told him she had been running late and had been told she could buy a ticket on the train.
At first she refused to give her name and said she did not have ID. Mr Quinn told her he would have to get the gardaí involved, at which point she told him who she was.
She was issued with a fixed penalty fine of €100, which she did not pay.
Ms Lynch rang another inspector, Eugene O’Carroll, and claimed an Irish Rail employee let her past the barriers at Connolly Station because she was running late, and told her she could buy a ticket on board.
However, Mr O’Carroll said CCTV footage was checked. “We did not observe her come through the barriers on that day at all,” he said.
Judge Lindsay said he would strike out the case if Ms Lynch donated €100 to charity.
Ms Lynch ran off to the nearest ATM and came back into court minutes later with the donation.
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