Judge fails to see funny side of comic situation

There was no sign of any old copies of The Beano or Dandy lying around when a judge inspected a speed camera van yesterday.

Judge fails to see funny side of comic situation

Outside Ennis Courthouse in the May sunshine, Judge Patrick Durcan, a staunch critic of Go Safe speeding prosecutions, was given a guided tour of a Go Safe speed camera van by operative Keith Walsh.

Judge Durcan was told how the technology of the approximately 50-strong network of vans works.

In March, Judge Durcan described as a complete waste of money Go Safe staff coming to court failing to prosecute alleged speeding motorists “for one bad reason after another”.

At a later court date, he that what Go Safe workers do in their vans has long been shrouded in mystery, with people wondering if they spend their time reading The Beano or Dandy.

In court yesterday, Insp John McDonald, who oversees the fixed charge processing unit, with a staff of 60 in Thurles, came to court to answer any queries Judge Durcan may have on the Go Safe system.

Insp Tom Kennedy said a Go Safe van was available for inspection outside, with the judge replying: “This is the man with the van who reads his Dandys and Beanos.”

Insp McDonald said if any Go Safe driver had time to read the comics, “it is highly probable that the vast majority of the images captured in his sessions would be rejected because of sun light and changing weather conditions, as the operator has to alter the contrast in his lens”.

Currently, there is a High Court challenge to the Go Safe connected prosecutions and Judge Durcan said that he would not hear any Go Safe cases until the High Court case has been resolved, and adjourned all cases to September 19.

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