A Dublin Bus driver left the scene of a crash, then put his double-decker into service without reporting the accident, a court heard.
Brian Dooley (48) "panicked in the heat of the moment" and began taking on passengers, despite having collided with a car.
Blanchardstown District Court heard investigating gardai knew a bus had been involved from the distinctive piece of blue and yellow bumper embedded in the other vehicle's tyre.
Judge David McHugh applied the Probation Act, leaving Dooley without convictions after hearing he had owned up to his bosses the next morning, following a "sleepless night".
Gardai believed Dooley was not responsible for the accident, in which no-one was hurt.
Dooley, of Palmerstown Woods, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to failing to remain at the scene of the accident on the N4/M50 interchange on November 14 last year.
The court heard gardai came across the car afterwards, but Dublin Bus had no information about an accident that day.
The company became aware that a bus was damaged in an inspection that night. There was damage to the front of the bus consistent with the damage to the car. The CCTV was not working and there were no witnesses.
The following day, Dooley came forward before his shift started.
The court heard the other driver was from outside Dublin and may have been "disorientated".
Dooley had not been able to stop initially, then "it all happened so quickly, he lost the run of himself," his lawyer said. He was "worried sick" afterwards.
"I should have stopped and I didn't. I don't know why, it's not me," Dooley said in a "frank" statement.