independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Garda points probe a year late – Leo Varadkar

Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadkar says the Garda Ombudsman Commission should have been asked to carry out an investigation into the penalty points controversy a year ago.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has called in the Garda Ombudsman Commission for a "wide-ranging" penalty points inquiry.

His intervention came last week as tensions mounted regarding the role of the Dail's Public Accounts Committee, which took evidence in private from a garda whistleblower who levelled allegations of corruption against senior officers in the force.

Serving sergeant Maurice McCabe ultimately gave his evidence behind closed doors last Thursday, but the Garda Ombudsman Commission will continue with its investigation independently.

Mr Varadkar yesterday said that he thought the ombudsman should have been called in at a much earlier date.

He told Today FM's 'The Last Word' programme: "I really do think that would have been the right thing to do in the first instance".

He said that in 21st Century Ireland nobody trusted people to investigate themselves.

"Its just not the way things are done anymore. That's going to require a bit of a change and a culture shift. But, more and more, if there is an issue, people expect an investigation to be independent," Mr Varadkar added.

Irish Independent

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