Saturday 17 March 2018

DPP to decide if Daly will be charged over wrong turn

Clare Daly
Clare Daly

Tom Brady, Michael Brennan and Cormac McQuinn

GARDAI are to prepare a file for the DPP, who will decide if Clare Daly TD is to be prosecuted for an illegal right-hand turn. She has been cleared of suspected drink driving.

The Independent socialist TD for Dublin North, who admitted drinking a "house" measure of whiskey, was found to be below the drink-driving limit.

But under a directive issued from the DPP's office some years ago, gardai are obliged to send a file outlining the facts in any case attracting public attention before a decision can be reached about prosecution.

This applies only to cases where the subject of the file is a person in the public eye.

After Ms Daly had received the result of tests on her urine sample, she accused the gardai of deliberately trying to discredit her by leaking details of her arrest to the media.

She was also critical of the arresting gardai for handcuffing her before bringing her to Kilmainham station to provide a sample after she had been unable to take a roadside breath test.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said there were guidelines on the use of handcuffs when arresting a suspect.

He could not comment on this particular case but pointed out that gardai had a duty of care to one another and to the people around them.

Mr Callinan said he could not comment on Ms Daly's case as she had lodged a complaint with the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

The commissioner added that he was sure this would be thoroughly investigated by the ombudsman.


Ms Daly had earlier acknowledged making an illegal right turn on to the South Circular Road after she had found herself on an unfamiliar road between Ballyfermot and Kilmainham while trying to drive back to the northside.

The turn was spotted by the crew of a passing garda patrol car, who signalled Ms Daly to stop and then asked her to take a breath test.

The TD claimed yesterday that details about her arrest had been leaked to newspapers within 12 hours and said she believed this was a deliberate attempt to discredit a left-wing TD who had raised issues of malpractice within An Garda Siochana.

"This information could only have come from within the gardai," she said.

Ms Daly is one of the TDs who revealed information in the Dail about the practice of penalty points being written off by gardai for motorists in certain circumstances.

She said the official result of her urine test showed 45 milligrammes per 100 millitres of urine, "which is 33pc below the allowable limit of 68 milligrammes".

Ms Daly told RTE that the information leaked about her arrest could only have come from garda sources.

She said: "This is a criminal matter for gardai to engage in such behaviour and I want it investigated to the full."

In her statement, Ms Daly said she believed gardai implementing road safety had a job to do and she supported them.

But she added: "However, I object strongly to the arrest, handcuffing and release of information (regarding) the arrest on suspicion of drink driving. My legal advice is that none of this is procedure".

In the Dail this week, she again clashed with Justice Minister Alan Shatter on penalty points being written off and accused gardai of terminating points without any reason.

She said the gardai were "a complete and utter law unto themselves".

Mr Shatter accused her of assuming that large numbers of gardai were "engaged in some sort of conspiracy" or were "corrupt". Ms Daly said she had not done this.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said he was delighted that Ms Daly had been "vindicated".

Irish Independent

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