A court case involving an FCI member - who was convicted of having no insurance as the prosecuting Garda claimed that he had the incorrect driver’s licence - was appealed successfully in the Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday (Thursday, July 24th).
After a lengthy hearing with an FCI-supported legal team, headed by barrister David Staunton and solicitor James Staines, sitting before Judge Cormac Cahill, the judge said that he would allow the appeal.
This meant that the original conviction for having no insurance based on the Road Traffic Corp Garda assertion that the FCI member had the incorrect driver’s licence, a W licence, when the Garda claimed that a CE licence was required when a tractor was being used for non-agricultural activities, was fully and successfully appealed.
In a statement on Facebook, Farm Contractors of Ireland said: “Many thanks also to FBD Insurance for their valuable support in this case where the company confirmed that the W Licence was valid for insurance purposes.”
“In the RSA Summary of requirements for each licence category, it states on Page 40 that a C licence covers “Vehicles (other than work vehicles or land tractors) having a MAM* Exceeding 3,500kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg.”
FCI believes that this clearly indicates that tractors - that are used for non-agricultural purposes - can be classified as works vehicles (W licence) were not used for purposes of hire and reward and where they are used either as works vehicles or for the purposes of carriage of own goods, such as owned works machines or farm machines between sites of work.
“FCI will continue to seek more clarification on these issues that impact on the businesses of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland.”
“FCI is working for Irish rural-based contractors throughout all Ireland.” the statement concluded.