Judge imposes driving ban on Clare TD’s partner

Photo (c) by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA from Pexels vis Canva

A judge has imposed a driving ban on independent Clare TD partner Violet Anne Wynne after she commented that John Mountaine “continues to drive illegally”.

Today at Kilrush District Court Judge Alec Gabbett imposed a three month driving ban on Mr Mountaine (42) of Pella Rd, Kilrush for driving unaccompanied on a provisional license in Lack West, Kilmihil, Co Clare in October 2021 r.

Judge Gabbett said: “I am very concerned that Mr Mountaine continues to drive illegally. The law here is simple – if you have a provisional driving license you must be accompanied while driving.”

Judge Gabbett said: “This is an offense committed by Mr Mountaine and he continues to drive unaccompanied while on a provisional licence.”

Judge Gabbett said that exactly a year ago he told the court that he was convicting Mr. Mountaine of the crime, but gave him time to pass his driving test, which Mr. Mountaine failed to do.

In imposing a €200 fine on Mr Mountaine in October 2021 for driving unaccompanied while on a provisional licence, Judge Gabbett said he was using his subsidiary powers to impose a three-month driving ban on Mr Mountaine vehicles.

He said: “I’m afraid there’s a driver on the road without a driving license, even though he’s insured, and that’s my only consolation. This continues as long as his insurer accepts this particular position. I’m not sure if they will use them in the future.”

Mr Mountaine’s lawyer, Patrick Moylan, said his client had been on the waiting list for his driving test since November 3, 2020 “and had not been called”.

Moylan said: “He was told repeatedly that a slot would be made available.”

Mr Moylan said: “He started his own company, Mounty’s Carpentry. He does everything he can, and he has two people working for him.

“He needs a driving license. He has six children, ages 14, 13, 11, 8, 6 and 2.

Moylan said Mountaine was considering withdrawing its driving test application in Clare and reapplying it for the Dublin area.

Judge Gabbett said he found it “remarkable” that Mr Mountaine had not been summoned for his driving test.

He said: “I got my BE trailer license myself last year – I had passed my trailer test at the time he applied, so I can’t understand how Mr Mountaine can’t pass his driving test.”

Judge Gabbett said: “I’m afraid he’s facing all these obstacles.”

Judge Gabbett also imposed a fine of €300 on Mr Mountaine after he was convicted of holding a mobile phone while driving in October 2021.

Mountaine was on the phone to Deputy Wynne at Leinster House during a “kindergarten run” for the couple’s two children on October 21, 2021, when he was spotted by Garda Patrick Hanley holding a mobile phone to his ear while driving.

Judge Gabbett set Mr Mountaine’s €200 deposit to be recognised, in the event of an appeal against his driving ban to the District Court.