Friday 20 April 2018

Garda boss seeks full report on TD's threat to officer

Aideen Sheehan and Tom Brady

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has sought a report on an incident in which Fine Gael TD P J Sheehan threatened a garda after she tried to stop him driving his car out of the Dail grounds when he was intoxicated.

Mr Murphy said the incident, which took place in July, was investigated at the time and the local superintendent had decided that no further action was warranted.

He stood over the decision taken by the superintendent.

But he said that following a lot of public debate about the issue in recent days he had now sought a full report and would then decide whether it required further investigation.

The commissioner was speaking at the Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare, where Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny described the incident as an embarrassment.

"It should never have happened and is completely out of character for the deputy involved," he added.

Mr Kenny said that although he had been there on the night he was not aware of the full facts until he had read the leaked report on Sunday and had then acted immediately.

He had been aware previously of the "general gist" of the conversation which Mr Sheehan had with the garda and for which the deputy had since issued a full apology.

But he had not known the full details until the report was published and that report was entirely a matter for the gardai.

He said the gardai had a job and they did it in an exemplary fashion. He could not comment on the report.

"Deputy Sheehan has tendered his resignation as junior spokesman on agriculture and I have accepted and we're moving on", he added.


Mr Kenny predicted that a general election would be held in six months.

"This perceived stability is not stability. In fact, it's an example of lurching from crisis to crisis," he said.

"Its very important that, as a country, we do retain international confidence and international standards and, obviously, other countries and markets look at Ireland's deficit, they look at our growth rate and they look at our political leadership and the stability of that.

"This kind of confusion and instability leading to fear cannot continue," the Fine Gael leader added.

Irish Independent

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