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Monday 19 March 2018

Dail group studies penalty points file

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke 21/11/12
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke 21/11/12

Daniel McConnell Political Correspondent

MEMBERS of the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have examined the contents of a controversial Garda 'whistleblower' file, which the Garda Commissioner wanted handed over to him.

At a private session yesterday, which lasted just under two hours, the committee decided to reject Commissioner Martin Callinan's request for the file into the alleged wiping of penalty points. The committee concluded that it is right for it to investigate the file further.

The Irish Independent has learned that the committee viewed the full un-redacted file at the session, acting on legal advice. Previously, the committee had said it would await such legal advice as to whether members could view the file.

Last night, the committee, guided by Oireachtas legal adviser Melissa English, examined the contents of the file and determined there is sufficient material present in the file to warrant further investigation.

Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy previously compiled a report on a previous leak of material related to penalty points.

The PAC had sought the legal advice to determine whether the material is relevant, as it could go above and beyond what is contained in the C&AG report.

Sources have said that up to 100 new cases of penalty points being wiped are contained in the file, which is made up of print-outs of the Garda Pulse system and other materials.

On foot of its examination, it is to write today to Commissioner Callinan formally turning down his request to hand over the file.

It has also emerged the committee is now seeking to conduct a full analysis to assess the scale of any problem.

Irish Independent

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