A RETIRED Limerick priest who didn’t see a speed limit sign because it was covered in foliage returned the following day to photograph it only to find that the sign was visible because the foliage had been cut back.
The story of the disappearing sign was recalled at Kilmallock District Court last week when Fr Patrick Bowen of Roxboro Road was summonsed for driving at 78km/h in a 60km/h zone at Parteen on the outskirts of Limerick City on October 22 last.
His solicitor said that his client was traveling on a road that was “unfamiliar” to him. He was driving in what he thought was the 80km/h speed limit as he saw no signs alerting him to the change in speed limit.
In his evidence, Fr Bowen said that he saw the speed van, but to his knowledge on the day, he was driving within the speed limit.
He first became aware of the fact that he was driving above the speed limit when he received a Fixed Penalty Notice in the post.
He returned to the place where he had been caught to understand how he had been driving in excess of the speed limit.He then saw the speed limit sign, “but it was covered in foliage”.
He returned the following day to take a photo of the sign to show to the Gardaí, but when he returned, the “council had cut it all back.”
Judge Patricia Harney dismissed the case having heard the retired priest’s evidence given under oath.