Sunday 17 December 2017

Clare Daly lashes out at gardai as she’s cleared of drink-driving

Michael Brennan and Paul Melia

Left wing Independent TD Clare Daly has accused the gardai of deliberately trying to discredit her by leaking out details of her arrest on suspicion of drink-driving.

She revealed that she was not over the drink-driving limit when she was arrested by Gardai recently. And she said the issue was now being investigated by the Garda Ombudsman due to the fact that the news of her arrest on suspicion of drink driving had leaked out to the media

“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 could only have come from within the Gardai,” she said.

Ms Daly has been one of the TDs who have revealed information in the Dail about the practice of penalty points being written off by Gardai for certain motorists.

Ms Daly said she had received the official result of the test on the urine sample she provided after being stopped by Gardai at the end of last month at Kilmainham in Dublin.

“The result is 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine, which is 33pc below the allowable limit - 67 milligrammes,” she said.

The Garda Press Office said: “As the Garda Ombudsman Commission has been referred to in this case, An Garda Siochana will not be in a position to comment and all such queries should be referred to themselves.”

Ms Daly was stopped by gardai on January 28 after making an illegal right turn on to the South Circular Road, in Dublin's south inner city, on her way home from a meeting. She said she had been given a hot whiskey for a cold before she left for home.

"I was breathalysed but the equipment didn't register a reading," said Ms Daly.

"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'."

Ms Daly said she was then taken to Kilmainham Garda Station in a patrol car and placed in a cell on her own at one point. She was released after giving a urine sample.

"I believe that the gardai implementing road safety have a job to do and I support them," she said.

"However, I object strongly to the arrest, handcuffing and release of information re the arrest on suspicion of drink-driving to the tabloid press early on Tuesday.

"My legal advice is that none of this is 'procedure'."

Ms Daly said she has asked the Garda Ombudsman to investigate the matter.

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