INDEPENDENT deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is under fire for calling the gardai "a corrupt police force".
Mr Flanagan made a stinging attack on the force, as thousands of people gather for the funeral of murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in Dundalk, Co Louth.
The father-of-two was killed while on escort duty at a credit union in Jenkinstown, last Friday night.
However, Mr Flanagan has since apologised for his comments and admitted his timing was “bloody atrocious”.
Speaking on the Vincent Browne Show on TV3 last night, Mr Flanagan was highly critical of the gardai.
He described the release of information about fellow left- wing Independent deputy Clare Daly’s arrest on suspicion of drink driving as “vindictive”.
Mr Flanagan said it was a vindictive action “by in my opinion, a corrupt police force”.
He said he knew a Fine Gael man, not far from his constituency, whose drink driving offence was not made public.
“And I believe that one of the reasons why it is a corrupt police force is because there is no oversight,” he said.
He said it meant all gardai were under suspicion of corruption because of it, and that was unfair.
However, later on in the programme, he said he did not believe the force as a whole was corrupt.
He said his point was that there was no proper procedure to make a complaint, and this brought all gardai into disrepute.
However, speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, he said he “stupidly strayed into an area which I will talk about [in] the future”.
“I should not have said it,” he said. “The gardai are hurting. They are coming around to take care of each other today and the last thing they needed was me last night talking about corruption.”
He said he was sticking by his views on “the substantive issue” but his timing was “bloody atrocious”.