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‘Broken hearts convention’ in Clare village breached Covid rules

A SO-CALLED “convention of people with broken hearts” met up for a late night rendezvous in a parked car in the west Clare village of Kilmihil during a Covid-19 lockdown, a court has heard.

At Kilrush District Court, Garda Niall Donegan stated that when he approached the car and reminded the three occupants of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, driver, Finbar O’Gorman (27) replied that the three “were out of bad relationships and were meeting up for a chat”.

Garda Donegan stated that the two other occupants of the car were female and the car was parked up in the forecourt of a filling station in Kilmilil at 12.05am on February 18 last.

A Covid-19 travel ban outside 5km was in place at the time and Mr O’Gorman had driven 29km on the night from his home at Bruach na hAbhainn, Ennis, to meet his two friends in Kilmihil.

Mr O’Gorman pleaded guilty to breaching the Covid-19 health regulations by being present in Kilmihil without reasonable excuse.

Solicitor for Mr O’Gorman, Daragh Hassett said that the three friends meeting up was like “a convention of people with broken hearts”.

He added it wasn’t a case of Mr O’Gorman going over to Kilmihil “having pints or having fun”.

He said: “One of the girls in the car was his best friend and they were sharing war stories.”

Mr Hassett said: “There was a need to meet up and get a semblance of what was going on in his relationship and it is kaput as things stand.”

Mr Hassett said that digger driver, Mr O’Gorman is “very sorry” for the Covid-19 breach.

Judge Mary Larkin imposed a fine of €100 on Mr O’Gorman.

By Gordon Deegan

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