Road in Kerry like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ for speed vans

One man was summonsed four times for speeding on the same stretch of road in a speed camera zone in Co Kerry in April and some of the summonses were for consecutive days, a court heard yesterday.

Killarney District court was also told that a 60km zone on the the straight stretch of road at Faha East, on the R563, the road from Killarney to Dingle, was like “shooting fish in a barrel” for speed van operators.

It was lucrative stretch for the operators of the vans, the court was told.

Faha East was the location for at least 30 of the 38 speeding summonses before the the court in Killarney yesterday in the period between March 25 and June 06.

Damien O’Meara, of Rock Rd, Killarney, was summonsed four times for speeding on that stretch of road — for doing 89km/h on the 60km/h zone at 14.17 on April 1; for traveling at 74km/h at 13.34 pm on April 13; for traveling at 70km/h at 08.48 am on April 16; and going at a speed of at 71km/h at 13.58 pm on April 19;

Mr O’Meara said his car was in the garage and while he was the person responsible for the first two offences, the mechanic may have been driving his car on the other days.

He had moved address from Dingle and had not received the notices.

Padraig O’Connell, his solicitor, said four offences would put his client off the road as he already had three penalty points. Judge James O’Connor convicted on the first offence, fined him €125, and adjourned the other three until November 2016.

“All these offences are on the same stretch of road. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel,” Mr O’Connell remarked earlier in the case of a woman detected also at Faha East.

As the court list progressed, taking up most of the business of the morning, Judge O’Connor asked: “Does the van leave that place at all? It’s an area of road very valuable to operators of the speed van scheme.”

Convictions were handed down in 12 of the cases; however most cases were dismissed or struck out and six were adjourned.

Among the excuses offered yesterday, and accepted by the State in cases dismissed or struck out were: A number of people said they had not received the summonses at their addresses; there were three spelling errors, the owner of the cars were not driving the vehicle at the time of the detection in three of the cases; a number of people never received the fixed charge notice and knew nothing until gardaí arrived with a summons. And the machine in the post office was not working.

Donal Cronin from East End, Ballymakeera, Co Cork, told the court of the fright he got when a squad car drove into his yard with a summons for driving at 73km/h on the 60km/h zone at Faha East. He tried immediately to pay the summons, but was told he would have to come to court today. “I was at home when the squad car came into the yard. I put my hand in my pocket,” he said.

He agreed with the judge that there were other Cronins, in fact some of them with exactly the same name in the region, and the post might have got mixed up.

“I used to get his love letters…” Mr Cronin began. However the court erupted in laughter and the man’s solicitor Mr O’Connell said this was “a faux pas”. Insp John Brennan said that the man in question obviously had a lot of admirers.

Judge O’Connor dismissed the summons.

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