Fiach Kelly: Who else's name was thrown out at meeting between Shatter and Gardai?
SO who else’s name was thrown out in the meeting between Alan Shatter and senior gardai?
Mr Shatter today said he was told about the Mick Wallace incident – when the Independent TD escaped penalty points for using his mobile phone in his car – during a wider briefing on penalty points.
But he refused to say if any other names were given to him by the gardai, and would not specify what rank of garda gave him the briefing.
“In the context of ensuring I had absolute transparency I ensured also that I was briefed by An Garda Siochana on the manner in which the gardai approach exercising their discretion in dealing with road traffic offences,” Mr Shatter said.
“In the context of the general briefing that I received about the exercise of Garda discretion, the example of discretion being exercised in the context of Deputy Wallace was given to me. And I have no row about the exercise of that discretion or will I suggest that Deputy Wallace did anything improper.
“He clearly had a mobile phone, the Gardai spotted it and they ticked him off. He did nothing unlawful in the gardai exercising that discretion in his favour, just as the Garda exercised discretion in favour of thousand of people across this country.”
But did he ask for other examples, or were others given? Since Mr Shatter refused to answer this today, it is now a question for the gardai.
Did they volunteer information about Mr Wallace as mere “tittle-tattle” as Labour Dublin South-East TD Kevin Humphreys, who is still pursuing Mr Shatter and wants him to answer Dail questions on the issue, put it?
Or was the minister handed a file on Mr Wallace, or made aware of one?
If he was the only name given as an example to Mr Shatter, why did the gardai not use anyone else to illustrate their point?
Surely handing information on a political opponent to a politician was asking for trouble. It was bound to see the light of day at some stage.
It’s time for the gardai to answer some questions themselves.