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Monday 22 September 2014

Shatter slams Ming over points write-off case

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor

Published 15/05/2013 | 17:08

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Luke  'Ming' Flanagan, Independent deputy for Roscommon-South Leitrim  at Leinster House
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, Independent deputy for Roscommon-South Leitrim at Leinster House

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has criticised Independent TD ‘Luke’ Ming Flanagan for failing to co-operate with a garda investigation into his penalty points write-off.

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He said the Roscommon-South Leitrim TD had written to him seeking an investigation into how two fixed penalty charges he had received were cancelled.

Mr Shatter said this was a "little puzzling" because it was Mr Flanagan himself who had sought to have them cancelled. But he said he had asked Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to investigate on foot of Mr Flanagan’s letter. He said that individuals named by Mr Flanagan in the letter had been interviewed by the Gardai.

“I was just a little surprised to discover, that apparently having made such a brouhaha about it, Deputy Flanagan had refused to meet with the Gardai or to co-operate with them or to discuss the issue with them,” he said.

Mr Flanagan had been one of the Independent TDs who criticised the writing off of penalty points – but later admitted in the Dail that he had got penalty points written off on two occasions. He also said he would supply the name of the garda seargent who helped him to get penalty points written off on one of the occasions – when he was using his mobile phone while driving. And after getting caught using his mobile phone on another occasion, he said that a senior county council official in Roscommon County Council had told him he had “sorted out” the penalty points for him. That prompted Roscommon County manager Frank Dawson to issue a statement strongly denying that he had ever been involved in such an practice.

Mr Shatter was speaking outside Leinster House after the publication of the garda reports into the quashing of penalty points.

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