A speeding beauty queen clocked by Garda at driving at 187kph on a motorway escaped a driving ban after a judge praised her absolute honesty.
At Ennis District Court today, Gemma Reilly – crowned Miss Limerick in 2010 – was fined €500 after pleading guilty to speeding on the Ennis to Gort motorway on March 3rd last.
Ms Reilly of Riverpoint Apartments, Lower Mallow Street, Limerick city, entered the plea after Gardai clocked her driving her mother’s 12 registered Mercedes 220 at 187kph in a 120 kph zone at Srangalloon, Crusheen, Co Clare
Ms Reilly told the court: “I agree with the Garda’s evidence that I was speeding.”
In court, Judge Patrick Durcan asked Ms Reilly – who didn’t have any legal representation in court – to go into the witness box to give sworn evidence “and tell me why you were driving at 187km per hour”.
Ms Reilly – who was beaten by model Rosanna Purcell to the Miss Universe Ireland title in 2010 – said that her orthodontist is based in Galway “and I was extremely late for an appointment. I was driving my mother’s car and didn’t realise how fast I was going”.
Judge Durcan asked Ms Reilly “why shouldn’t I disqualify you from holding a driver’s licence with the speed you travelling at?” and in response Ms Reilly said: “I’m usually very diligent. I drive a 1.4 Golf myself. I have never been speeding before.”
Ms Reilly said: “This was my mother’s car, it wasn’t my own and I had a friend in the car with me.”
Asked to tell the judge something about herself, Ms Reilly said that she is between jobs at the moment after just finishing up work as a receptionist at the Adare Manor hotel in Co Limerick. She said: “I work in retail.”
Ms Reilly told Judge Durcan that she will never speed again.
In his ruling, Judge Durcan fined Ms Reilly €500 for the speeding offence.
The judge told Ms Reilly: “I am not disqualifying you from holding a driver’s licence because you have been absolutely honest in how you have dealt with the matter and I want to commend you on that.”
Judge Durcan added: “I must penalise you by virtue of the speed you were travelling at. If I had detected any element of dishonesty in your evidence I would have disqualified you, but I must say I found your honesty refreshing. Thank you very much.”