Deputy Clare Daly
Clare Daly, the Independents 4 Change TD, has won her appeal against a speeding conviction at Naas Circuirt Court just after 3pm this afternoon.
Deputy Daly, with an address in Elmwood Drive, Swords, was convicted by Judge Desmond Zaidan on October 26, 2016 after it was alleged that she was travelling at 59kph in a 50kph zone on January 1, 2016 at Ballymany, Newbridge.
Her appeal, heard before Judge Sarah Berkley, focused on the fact that no evidence of a contract between the Minister for Justice and the company Go Safe, which administers speed detection and prosecutions, was presented to the court as part of the State's evidence.
Counsel for Deputy Daly, Sharbee Morrin, instructed by Wilkinson and Price, referred to an earlier ruling by the then President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns that at least some evidence of the contract must be submitted in evidence in these cases.
The recording equipment in the courtroom in Naas Courthouse was replayed to confirm whether the witness for Go Safe, the operator of the speed detection van, had or had not given such evidence.
Judge Berkely concluded that he had not and said she had “no option” but to “allow the appeal”.
Last October 26, Deputy Daly was fined €300 at Naas District Court for speeding despite an attempt to plead not guilty to the charge. And she was accused of “a total abuse of court process” in the course of the hearing by judge Desmond Zaidan.
A bench warrant with discretion was issued for the arrest of Ms Daly by Judge Zaidan after she did not appear before him the previous Thursday, October 13. She had been present in court that morning, but with her case at the end of the list, she left her solicitor Cairbre Finan with make her excuses and to plead guilty to the charge on her behalf.
When she appeared the following Thursday, October 26, he refused to allow her to charge her plea to not guilty, and fined her.