Councillor fails to annul drink-driving case after arrest on ‘non-existent street’

A serving member of Cork County Council has failed in his efforts to have a drink-driving charge against him “annulled”.

Fine Gael’s Michael Hegarty was arrested and charged under the Road Traffic Act at Ballymacoda, Ladysbridge, East Cork on Aug 21.

At Youghal District Court yesterday, Garda Insp Eoin Healy made an application to amend the location of the arrest from “Main Street Ballymacoda” to “Ballydaniel, Ballymacoda”.

Brian O’Callaghan, for Mr Hegarty, aged 51, from Lady’s Bridge, Castlemartyr, asked that the charge be annulled as “there is no such legal address as Main Street Ballymacoda”.

He said the State was not so much seeking an amendment but “seeking to put a public place into the charge sheet”.

Judge Terence Finn said the court “prides itself on practicality”.

Granting the State’s application, he advised that while “‘Main Street Ballymacoda’ may not exist in the legal sense”, it was sufficient in “the colloquial sense” to describe to the satisfaction of the court the area in which the charge was made and which is within the court’s jurisdiction.

“You and I know that there are a lot of areas in North Cork, including crossroads, that are recognisable by description,” he told Mr O’Callaghan.

Judge Finn set a trial date at Youghal District Court for March 1, 2013 after Mr O’Callaghan entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of his client.


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