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Sunday 20 October 2019

Drivers in points row went on to kill on the roads

PHILIP RYAN EXCLUSIVE

The explosive dossier that sparked the quashed penalty-point controversy alleges widespread corruption in An Garda Siochana through the "falsification" and "destruction" of official records.

The explosive dossier that sparked the quashed penalty-point controversy alleges widespread corruption in An Garda Siochana through the "falsification" and "destruction" of official records.

The whistleblower's report, a copy of which the Sunday Independent has seen, outlines disturbing allegations that motorists had involvements in fatal accidents both before and after the quashing of penalty points.

It can also be revealed that a second whistleblower, Garda John Wilson, nephew of former Fianna Fail Tanaiste John Wilson, retired from his position last Wednesday.

The complete dossier of the original whistleblower is revealed for the first time today. It details a shocking litany of alleged penalty-point terminations, coupled with a catalogue of bizarre reasons for excusing serious road traffic offenses.

Among the instances where penalty points were allegedly written off were:

• A motorist who lost control of his vehicle, killing his female passenger, had a previous speeding ticket quashed.

• A 19-year-old woman who had a speeding ticket quashed subsequently died behind the wheel.

• A driver of a car that knocked down and killed a pedestrian subsequently had a speeding ticket quashed.

• Garda inspectors who destroyed their own speed-detection offences by the 'Go Safe' units.

• A garda superintendent who terminated two driving offences for a motorist caught speeding with a three-and-a-half-year-old on his knee.

The damning dossier also claims senior ranking officers wiped out official records for colleagues on the force, family members, friends and celebrities.

It alleges that hundreds of gardai had points quashed because they said they were on duty, but overtime forms and mileage claims suggest they were not working at the time.

These latest revelations come as one of the two garda whistleblowers involved, John Wilson (50), has come out publicly for the first time to call for a public enquiry in an exclusive interview with Colum Kenny for today's Sunday Independent.

Mr Wilson was not the author of the original dossier, but has supported the midlands-based garda sergeant who compiled thousands of instances where penalty points were allegedly wiped or falsified.

A garda investigation arising from his dossier was ordered by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and given to Justice Minister Alan Shatter on March 28.

According to the Department of Justice, this report is "under consideration" and the Attorney-General is being consulted.

However, the Sunday Independent understands that the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar is "disturbed" by the scope and nature of the allegations.

The garda sergeant who compiled the report said he was not interviewed as part of the garda investigation, but the Department of Justice said it would not be appropriate to comment on whether or not he was consulted.

The garda press office said the "material/dossier" was compiled and furnished anonymously and it could not comment on specific allegations.

Embarrassingly, the release comes as the number of deaths on Irish roads has increased, with 13 more killed than at this date last year. It also comes on a bank holiday weekend when gardai are mounting a huge number of checkpoints to catch motorists speeding illegally and drink-driving.

However, the dossier alleges that 200 motoring offences detected during an August bank holiday weekend in 2011 were terminated by senior gardai.

Irish Independent

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