Mansfield bid to restore licence fails

Businessman Jim Mansfield Jnr has failed in his legal bid to have his driving licence restored.

Mansfield, who was given a five-year road ban in 2011, needed his licence to help care for his elderly mother and to run his businesses, Dublin District Court heard.

However, Judge Aeneas McCarthy refused after hearing Garda objections. This means Mansfield, 48, will have to stay off the road until his driving ban expires in July next year.

Half-way through a period of disqualification, a banned driver is entitled to make an application to the district court to consider restoring their licence.

However, Garda George Thurlow, from the Traffic Corps in Dublin Castle, opposed Mansfield’s attempt. Mansfield — a son of the late hotelier, businessman, and airport owner Jim Mansfield Snr — had been given the ban after he was caught driving without insurance on November 26, 2010.

At the time he was stopped he was already subject to a driving disqualification imposed by a court in October 2010 but had not surrendered his licence, Garda Thurlow said. Mansfield had also told the garda he was not disqualified but the officer found this was untrue when he checked with the “driving licence authority”.

Explaining why the case has been before the court on three dates, he said Mansfield gave a 1967 date of birth when he was stopped.

However, the driving licence authority said no one with that birth date and name has ever held a driving licence. His birth certificate was checked and showed he was born on the same date but in 1966. Garda Thurlow said licences Mansfield had, “for the last 20 years, had incorrect dates of birth”.

Garda Thurlow said Mansfield had two previous convictions for drink-driving.

Solicitor Tony Hughes said that Mansfield “is living with his elderly mother and is caring for her”.

“To restore the licence would be a great benefit in terms of the business and his elderly mother,” the solicitor said, adding that his client is more than three years into the disqualification period.

However, Judge McCarthy refused on the grounds that Mansfield had been driving while already disqualified.

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