independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

TDs back down on dossier of quashed penalty points

FOUR left-wing TDs today backed down on plans to publish the names of thousands of motorists in a dossier on alleged widespread quashing of penalty points.

Deputies Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins and Luke Flanagan planned to allow media access to the dossier from two garda whistleblowers at a press conference in Dublin today.

The planned move sparked an angry response from Justice Minister Alan Shatter who called on them not to do so.

The deputies went ahead with the briefing but said they were not going to allow the names, taken from the Garda Pulse computer system, to be made public.

This followed contacts from the office of the Data Protection Commissioner which warned of legal consequences if they went public with the names.

The deputies instead called for an independent inquiry into allegations that as many as 50,000 fines and penalty points issued to motorists have been cancelled by senior gardai.

The deputies published 20 examples of cancelled penalty points.

While no names or locations are given in the examples, they include a superintendent who allegedly terminated tickets for the wives of other gardaí.

Other examples included claims of at least six drivers who had speeding tickets terminated, but who were subsequently involved in fatal accidents.

One motorist who was killed in a traffic accident had a speeding ticket quashed by a garda inspector shortly before the tragedy, it is alleged.

A garda whistleblower is also alleging that 943 tickets were quashed for off duty gardai or members of their families.

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