Cheers! Judge gives drink driver small fine as gift

A JUDGE gave a surprise wedding present to a recently married father of five facing a drink driving charge.

District court Judge James McNulty, who usually imposes a €500 fine on anyone in west Cork upon conviction of a drink driving charge, gave Killian Kelleher, 36, of Knockane, Tarelton, Macroom, Co Cork, a nominal 10 fine after he was told that Mr Kelleher and his long-term partner had tied the knot just days before the court hearing.

Mr Kelleher pleaded guilty before Judge McNulty at a hearing of Bandon District Court last Friday to a charge of driving with excess alcohol.

The court was told that he had married the previous week.

Judge McNulty offered his congratulations before asking gardaí to outline the facts of the case.

The court was told that Mr Kelleher was stopped on suspicion of drink driving at Ballymoden Place, Bandon, Co Cork on November 12 last.

The court was told that Kelleher’s then partner, who is a diabetic and who is now his wife, was the designated driver that night.

They were at a party on one side of Bandon when it was discovered that his partner had forgotten her diabetes medication.

Mr Kelleher decided to drive to her sister’s house on the other side of Bandon to get it. But on the way, he was stopped at a Garda checkpoint.

He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and was taken to Bandon Garda station, where he gave a urine sample.

After the evidence was heard, Judge McNulty again offered his congratulations to Mr Kelleher on his recent nuptials but disqualified him from driving for two years and then imposed a nominal fine of €10.

“That’s the wedding present for you,” he said.

Mr Kelleher and his wife left the court smiling.

The court was also told that Mr Kelleher has been out of work since a workplace accident in 2004 and has been in receipt of disability allowance ever since.

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