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Jail for dad-of-six found driving with no insurance again

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John McDonagh gave gardai a false name and address

John McDonagh gave gardai a false name and address

John McDonagh gave gardai a false name and address

A serial offender with 88 convictions has been jailed for five months for driving without insurance for a fourth time.

John McDonagh (42) claimed he was driving his pregnant wife, who was unwell.

He also gave a false name and address when he was stopped by gardai, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant, of Sundale Lawns, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance when he was stopped last November 18 at Rowan's Little in Balbriggan.

McDonagh also pleaded guilty to giving gardai a false name and false date of birth.

He had 88 previous convictions, including three for having no insurance, the court heard.

In 2015, he was banned for 12 years and given a five-month suspended sentence for driving without insurance.

Two months previously, he was caught driving without insurance and was banned for four years and ordered to complete 150 hours of community service.

Lesson

In 2012, he was jailed for five months and banned for 10 years for driving without insurance.

Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy told the court the father-of-six, who is not working, knows the difficulty he is in.

"He has learned his lesson and is willing to complete community service work instead of a prison sentence," she said.

"He drove because his wife was unwell on the day and he knows now he shouldn't have driven the car."

Ms D'Arcy added that McDonagh had left school at a young age.

"He is a devoted family man and is fully aware he is potentially facing incarceration," she said.

Judge John Brennan said McDonagh had "already been given the generosity of the courts".

"He was clearly driving without insurance and young people are not able to get insurance because of this," he said.

"I am always willing to give a chance, but he has had several chances and he keeps popping up in court on serious charges.

"The court has a duty to the community."

He sentenced the defendant to five months, and McDonagh immediately lodged an appeal.