Saturday 19 October 2019

Full statement from Justice Minister Alan Shatter

"Deputy McGrath in the Dáil this morning asked the Tánaiste about an event involving me which he alleged occurred sometime between the holding of the 2011 General Election and the appointment of the Government.

No such event occurred at the time stated by the Deputy.  

However, I do recall an occasion in 2009, or possibly late 2008, when there was a Garda night-time mandatory checkpoint in Pembroke Street in Dublin. 

There was a queue of motorists and when I was reached, like those before me, my Road Tax and Insurance discs were checked and I was asked to exhale into a breathalyser.  I did so but failed to fully complete the task due to my being asthmatic.  I explained this to the Garda. 

I also explained that I was on my way home from Dáil Éireann and that I had consumed no alcohol of any nature that day.  The Garda consulted with another Garda and I was waved on. 

There was no question of my having consumed any alcohol, nor of my having committed any offence under the Road Traffic Acts.  I heard no further of the matter until I learnt it was raised by Deputy McGrath in questions today to the Tánaiste.

To avoid any doubt or confusion, the incident I referenced in the Dáil on Tuesday evening was an occasion when I was in a Bus Lane at about 11.30 am on Ormond Quay in Dublin some years ago. 

A Garda on a motorbike stopped by my car and directed me to roll down my window and informed me I should not be in a Bus Lane.  I explained that the signage detailed that all vehicles could travel in it between 10am and 12 noon.  No more was said and he moved on."

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