Tuesday 21 January 2020

Minister slams Ming over points write-off

Tom Brady and Michael Brennan

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has criticised two Independent Dail deputies as a result of the publication of the penalty points report.

He attacked Luke "Ming" Flanagan for failing to co-operate with a garda investigation into his penalty points being cancelled. He said the Roscommon-South Leitrim TD had written to him seeking an investigation into how two fixed penalty charges he had received were cancelled.

Last March, the Irish Independent revealed they were cancelled after he had written to the garda authorities seeking a cancellation because he was driving to the Dail at the time.

Mr Shatter said he asked Commissioner Martin Callinan to set up an investigation and during the course of their inquiries officers had arranged to meet Mr Flanagan.

But shortly before the meeting, the officers were contacted by Mr Flanagan's office and were informed he did not wish to engage further with them.

Whitewash

Mr Flanagan was one of the TDs criticising the cancellation of penalty points but later admitted in the Dail that he had penalty points written off twice.

Mr Shatter also criticised TD Mick Wallace for calling the report a "whitewash" five hours before the findings were published.

"If people want to play silly political games on an issue of great seriousness, they are welcome to do so," he added.

The minister also said it was open to the Oireachtas Justice Committee to call witnesses for its examination of the penalty points issue – such as Mr Wallace, Mr Flanagan and another independent TD, Clare Daly.

"They are free to give evidence of what they can say to substantiate their allegations. I don't know if they will volunteer to do that," Mr Shatter added.

Irish Independent

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