Limerick driver only answered the questions he was asked

Kilmallock District Court

A MAN accused of making a false statement in order to get car insurance was telling the truth when he said that he only answered the questions he was asked.

John Cahill (39), of Towerhill, Cappamore, denied a charge that he knowingly concealed information from the Allianz Insurance company after signing an insurance proposal form without declaring previous court convictions.

The issue arose after Mr Cahill was stopped at a routine Garda checkpoint on March 16, 2022, by Garda Pat Ahern without any insurance documentation displayed on the car windscreen.

Garda Ahern told Kilmallock District Court that Mr Cahill said he had insurance cover but was waiting for the documents to arrive.

The Garda asked him to produce the documents at Cappamore Garda station and contended that Mr Cahill didn’t do that.

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He said when the matter came before court, Mr Cahill produced an insurance document but the Garda looked further into the matter and found that the proposal document Mr Cahill signed did not reveal any details of previous convictions.

In the witness box, Mr Cahill told his solicitor, Ian McNamara, that he had produced the document in the required time to a named Garda.

Mr Cahill told the court: “I got on to a broker to get my insurance as this was the first time I had ever been insured. They read questions to me over the phone. The only question I was asked was whether I had any convictions in the last five years and if I had any claims pending.”

Mr Cahill said he truthfully answered ‘no’ to both questions and when the forms were emailed and printed off for him to sign “I didn’t read through it. I was just glad to get my insurance and I signed it and sent it off.”

He said that he had nothing to gain from telling a deliberately lie as “I paid €3,800 for the insurance – paying a bit more wouldn’t have mattered”.

He said he “wasn’t asked about other convictions. I answered the questions the broker asked me.”

Judge Patricia Harney said she found “it far easier to believe Mr Cahill’s version of events. I accept that as it was his first time to apply for insurance, that he didn’t think any more about it.”

The Judge dismissed all charges.