herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Taxi driver who was accessory to murder gets to keep licence

courts

Patrick Conroy
Patrick Conroy

A TAXI driver who was convicted of being an accessory to murder has been told by a judge he can keep his licence.

Patrick Conroy (53), who was sentenced to seven years in jail in 1983 for the offence, is to be allowed to continue working as a taxi driver.

Apart from the conviction linked to a murder in the capital's north inner city, Mr Conroy has 17 previous criminal convictions for offences including burglary and larceny, which he mostly built up when he was aged between 15 and 18.

He had been due to face disqualification from driving or operating a taxi under strict new legislation.

However, the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said Mr Conroy, who was now supporting his two children, had "paid for his past crime".

Mr Conroy, of Croke Villas, Ballybough, was jailed in 1983 because he had helped provide shelter to man who killed a 15-year-old boy called Gerard Anthony Morgan.

At the time of the offence, Mr Conroy lived at Sean O'Casey Avenue on the northside.

Mr Conroy's barrister Tony McGillicuddy said earlier this week that the application was being brought under the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

retention

He explained that people holding a small public service vehicle licence who had been convicted of certain crimes were disqualified for life from having a licence.

However, an application could be made to the appropriate court for retention of the licence.

The court heard Mr Conroy was convicted at the Central Criminal Court of being an accessory after the fact of murder.

Therefore, Mr McGillicuddy said, the application for him to continue holding his licence had to be made to the High Court.

He said Mr Conroy had applied for a taxi licence after his release from prison and made full disclosure of his convictions before being granted it.

He had held the licence for 11 years without any complaint against him and with no garda concerns. He had paid for his plate and his licence had been renewed as required.

Superintendent David Taylor said that Mr Conroy had not come to the adverse attention of gardai since he was issued a licence in January 2004.

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