Flanagan had penalty points wiped
Published 12/03/2013 | 20:11
Controversial politician Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has revealed he has twice had penalty points wiped from his driving licence.
The Independent TD, who fronted a campaign against the gardai, blasting them for cancelling points for high-profile figures, said he was approached both times and told his penalties would be revoked.
"Not only is there a cohort of gardai who are going around asking people do they want points cancelled, but it appears there is a franchise system going on whereby if you are cosy with a senior garda, then you can have these offences quashed," Mr Flanagan said.
The Roscommon TD was stopped by gardai on June 3, 2011 for using a mobile phone while driving - an offence that carries a fine and two penalty points. He said he later spoke to a garda sergeant who insisted he could have the points revoked on the basis he had been on official Dail business.
Mr Flanagan, 41, disclosed a similar incident happened the following December when he was handed penalty points for the same offence on his way to a Roscommon County Council meeting. He said a senior council official later contacted him, informing him he had "sorted out" the issue.
"It is quite extraordinary to think that a senior county council official would feel confident enough that approaching a senior garda would enable him to have penalty points quashed for a citizen," Mr Flanagan said.
The TD, who has openly admitted to using class A drugs such as cocaine, acid and ecstasy in the past, insisted he never asked for the points to be wiped.
He said he had considered naming the garda sergeant who approached him in connection with the June incident in the Dail, but had been advised against it.
A garda superintendent has the power to cancel points if he receives an appeal in writing or if the offender has a valid excuse for committing the offence - such as exceeding a speed limit while driving a sick child to hospital.
Mr Flanagan said he was informed his points could be quashed because he was on official Dail business at the time of both offences.