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One-year ban for driving on the wrong side of the road

A 38-year-old woman has received a one-year driving ban for careless driving after a number of incidents in Ballina last year.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Alec Gabbett imposed the ban on Kevanne McNamara, daughter of EuroMillions winner, Dolores McNamara, after Sergeant Louis Moloney told the court that on July 20 last, Ms McNamara was observed driving on the wrong side of the road and colliding with a temporary fence.

Sergeant Moloney said that another driver on the R494 Road into Ballina “had to take evasive action to avoid a collision”.

Sergeant Moloney said no injuries arose from Kevanne McNamara’s driving her 11 registered red Mercedes Benz on the date.

Ms McNamara of Ard Coillte, Ballina, County Tipperary, had indicated a plea of guilty to dangerous driving but Sergeant Moloney said that a dangerous driving charge requires a high threshold of proof and that on a review of the facts a plea to careless driving was acceptable to the Gardai.

As a result, Ms McNamara has escaped an automatic two-year driving ban for dangerous driving and instead Judge Gabbett imposed a one-year driving ban for careless driving.

Solicitor for Ms McNamara, Daragh Hassett said that his client “was a little bit rudderless”, “was a little bit on her own” and was suffering with her mental health around the time of the driving offence but is now back on her feet.

Mr Hassett said that Ms McNamara has recently qualified as a beautician after passing her exams “and this will hopefully lead her to gaining full time work”.

The careless driving incident took place three months after Ms McNamara’s father, Adrian died in April of last year.

Mr Hassett said Kevanne “has had a hard couple of years”.

He said: “Kevanne’s father died last year. He was a good friend to Kevanne.”

Mr Hassett said that Ms McNamara is willing to take her medicine with the one-year driving ban but asked that the ban be deferred for six months.

In total, Ms McNamara was facing charges concerning four driving-related alleged offences that include two counts of dangerous driving from the same day in July last year.

However, Mr Hassett said that the State was happy that a guilty plea to a single charge from Ms Kevanne’s driving was sufficient to meet the case and the State was not proceeding on the other three charges.

One of the other charges that the State did not proceed with was a charge of Ms McNamara driving her car under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to render her incapable of having proper control of her car at Main Street, Ballina on July 20th 2021.

Sergeant Moloney said that Ms McNamara had five previous driving-related convictions.

As part of his order, Judge Gabbett also imposed a fine of €500. Ms McNamara only spoke in court to say ‘thank you’ to Judge Gabbett after he imposed sentence before leaving.

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