Garda points probe to be 'rigorous'
Published 07/12/2012 | 12:54
The Garda Commissioner has insisted there is not a culture of non-enforcement of penalties being tolerated within the force.
Martin Callinan vowed that an investigation into the alleged termination of penalty points by gardai will be comprehensive and rigorous, and any issues that arise fully enforced.
The Garda chief was forced to speak out after claims gardai cancelled the issuing of penalty points for tens of thousands of motorists, including high-profile people such as two members of the judiciary, a leading rugby player and a television presenter.
"Under my leadership as Garda Commissioner I am determined that the commitment of An Garda Siochana to the effective enforcement of road traffic legislation will be absolute," he said. "There is no question of what has been described as a culture of non-enforcement of penalties being tolerated."
He warned gardai are handing out hundreds of thousands of penalties each year to make Irish roads safer.
The controversy came to light when a garda and a sergeant approached the Department of Transport, the Department of Justice and the Road Safety Authority acting as whistleblowers.
Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney, who was appointed to investigate the claims, has given an interim report to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Mr Callinan said it was important to emphasise the allegations appeared to be based solely on an examination of Pulse records, the garda computer system.
"In other words, allegations of impropriety are made without it being clear how the person making them would have complete knowledge as to what led to decisions being taken in particular cases or being in a position to assess properly whether the decisions made were appropriate," he added.
"In those circumstances, it is very unfair both to members of the Force, and to the people who were the subject of the notices, to assert wrongdoing in the absence of a determination of the full facts. This danger has been highlighted during the course of the examination which is taking place. In the meantime, one fact should be clear. An Garda Siochana is determined to enforce fully road traffic legislation so as to make our roads safer for all."