Man who operated taxi for 30 years claimed he was giving fare money to charity

December 5, 2017

A pensioner who was operating a taxi without a license for 30 years claims he was giving all his earnings to charity.

73-year-old Angus Stewart appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charged with operating a taxi without a license.

National Transport Authority officer Eugene MacHale gave evidence of calling Stewart on his mobile phone on August 23rd last and ordering a taxi.

Stewart, of Roughan, Lifford, said he was on a taxi run but collected Mr MacHale a short time later and took him from Lifford to Letterkenny and charged him €20.

Officer MacHale identified himself and asked Stewart if he had a taxi license for his car, a 171 registered Skoda Superb.

The accused said he had not and officer MacHale then said he asked Stewart how long he had been driving without a taxi license and the accused replied 30 years.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Frank Dorrian said his client had thought that officer McHale had simply asked him how long he had been driving.

“There is no possible way he has been driving around Lifford without a license for 30 years,” said Mr Dorrian.

He asked officer MacHale if he knew what Stewart was doing with the money he got from operating his taxi but officer MacHale said he did not.

Mr Dorrian said his client and some colleagues had been involved in fundraising and had managed to collect more than €100,000 for the Donegal Hospice and other charities.

He added that his client had four adult children who had never smoked a cigarette or taken a drink in his life.

Judge Paul Kelly fined Stewart €100 for operating a taxi without a license.