A judge told a driver and garage worker with 31 previous convictions for driving without insurance that he should contact the Guinness Book of Records to have his 'achievement' recognised.
Insp John O'Sullivan told Judge Patrick Durcan at Killaloe District Court yesterday that Limerick man and car enthusiast Martin McNamara (25) has a total of 321 previous convictions, the majority of them related to road traffic offences.
In reply, Judge Durcan said 321 was easily the highest number of previous convictions he had encountered in his time as a judge.
Insp O'Sullivan said the 321 total includes 31 previous convictions for driving without insurance.
Judge Durcan yesterday jailed McNamara (25), of Castle- rock Mews, Castleconnell, Co Limerick, for 10 months after he pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and driving while disqualified at Ogonnelloe in east Clare last April 2.
Judge Durcan also banned him from driving for eight years.
McNamara's solicitor, Shiofra Hassett, said her client's previous convictions "are nearly all for road traffic offences and, judge, you have heard the high number of previous convictions for no insurance".
Judge Durcan said: "It may well be that when I have made my order, Mr McNamara should make time to write to the editor of the Guinness Book of Records and it may very well be that the record for previous convictions for no insurance could be recorded for him."
Judge Durcan said that the 31 previous convictions for no insurance "is probably a national record. I have never heard of anything near it". Insp O'Sullivan agreed it was a first.
The judge jailed McNamara for five months for driving without insurance and five months for driving while disqualified, with the sentences to run consecutively.
Ms Hassett said McNamara works at a Limerick garage, Auto Clinic, on work experience, and his employer has taken a great deal of interest in him, driving him to and from work every day.
She said McNamara accepts that he should not have been driving on the day in question "and won't be driving for the foreseeable future, if ever again".
Ms Hassett said her client had brought it to the garda's attention that he was disqualified from driving on the day.
She said he left school at the age of 13 and is in receipt of disability payments due to a learning difficulty.
"Mr McNamara has always been interested in cars," she said.
Judge Durcan fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal.