Law expert has concerns over Daly leak
Published 10/02/2013 | 04:00
A high-profile Labour Party legal and constitutional law expert has expressed serious disquiet over the alleged procedures followed by gardai involved in the Clare Daly drink driving arrest.
The United Left Alliance member was arrested for alleged drink driving after taking an illegal turn while driving in Dublin on January 29
She admitted drinking a hot whiskey and was breathalysed before being taken to Kilmainham garda station for further tests.
She says she was handcuffed at the side of the road and kept in a cell for a period of time.
On Friday Ms Daly said test results of the urine sample provided to gardai show a result of 45mg per 100ml of urine, which is 33 per cent below the allowable limit of 67mg.
The matter has been referred to the Office of the Garda Ombudsman by the TD, and it is conducting an investigation.
Labour Party legal expert Richard Humphreys, who is a noted constitutional lawyer, expressed his concern about the TD's arrest.
"During any drink driving cases I was involved in I don't recall the defendant being handcuffed and talking to my colleagues about it, it was a rarity,'' he said.
In cases where the individual being arrested did not pose a threat "it would normally be regarded as inappropriate and unnecessary".
Mr Humphreys, who is also in his capacity as a Labour councillor the Chairperson of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Joint Policing Committee, noted of the independent TD's claims that "if her account is correct it would be unusual".
However, he added that a decision to handcuff a suspect is "a matter of discretion and there does not appear to be a breach of any law or code".
Ms Daly described having a meeting on the southside of the city, losing her way, making an illegal turn and being stopped by a patrol car.
"I was breathalysed but the equipment didn't register a reading. I was arrested and handcuffed on the side of the road. I objected to being handcuffed and stated that I would willingly go to the garda station. I was told by the arresting garda that this was 'procedure'," she said.
"At one point I was placed in a cell on my own. A doctor was called and I provided a urine sample. When I was released a female garda told me to 'come back when you are sober'.
"I believe that this was a deliberate attempt to discredit a left-wing TD who has raised issues of malpractice within the Garda Siochana. This information [released to the tabloid press] could only have come from within the gardai," she said.