Driving school

Catriona Carey given suspended sentence for driving without license or insurance

A garda was shouted at by a ‘totally out of control’ woman after he told her her uninsured car would be seized, Kilkenny District Court heard.

Catriona Carey (44), of Weir View Hill, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, received a suspended prison sentence on Monday for driving without a license or insurance while disqualified from driving.

Solicitor Kevin Roche, for Carey, said his client pleaded guilty to four counts: driving without insurance and without a driving license in Weir View, Kilkenny, on December 10 last year and driving without insurance and without a driving license at Glendine, Castlecomer Road on November 21st.

Garda Julie Chapman told the court that at the time of the first incident she was carrying out a speed check and observed a BMW traveling at 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone at 3.50 p.m. She stopped the car and asked the driver, Carey, for his license.

Carey told the garda she didn’t have the permit but had a picture of it on her phone. The guard scanned this with a mobile device and explained to Carey that she was not licensed to drive, which meant she was not covered by insurance and was going to impound her car.

‘Out of control’

She said Carey then yelled at her and refused to hand over the keys, saying she wanted to know how she was supposed to get her kids to school and get groceries.

“She was totally out of control,” the guard said.

Carey eventually calmed down and the car was seized.

Garda Thomas Loughnane said last December 10 he observed Carey driving at Weir View and knew she had been disqualified from driving.

He pulled over Carey, informed her that she was disqualified, and asked for her license and insurance documents. He said Carey asked ‘are you targeting me?’ and ‘do you expect me to take taxis?’.

Mr Roche said there had been some confusion over Carey’s last set of penalty points, which led to her disqualification, and she had tried to appeal. He said Carey had never been banned from driving in court and this was not a case of her “flagrantly disregarding” a court order.

Previous convictions

There have been three previous convictions recorded against Carey, including speeding in October 2018, and an eight-month suspended prison sentence handed down in February 2020 for theft.

Mr Roche said his client was the primary carer for his two children, which meant she had to drive. He said his client wanted to apologize to Garda Chapman for the roadside events and asked the court to be as lenient as possible.

Judge Geraldine Carthy found Carey guilty of driving without insurance last November and fined her €300 and banned her from driving for two years.

She said it was “very difficult to offer an apology” for the incident in December given that Carey got back into the car knowing she was disqualified.

She convicted and sentenced Carey to a three-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months on the condition that Carey post bail to keep the peace. She was also banned from driving for four years.

Carey, an accountant and former Irish international hockey player, recently appeared on an RTÉ Investigates show which alleged she was involved in a scam in which dozens of people with troubled home loans lost money.

His company Careysfort Asset Estates took deposits and offered to repay charges if deals to buy their debt from discounted lenders did not materialize. Gardaí is investigating the payments and how they were secured after receiving a number of complaints.