Saturday 17 March 2018

Limerick Mayor has 'unreservedly apologised' for controversy surrounding car crash

Mayor of Limerick Jerry O’Dea
Mayor of Limerick Jerry O’Dea

David Raleigh

The Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick, Jerry O'Dea, has "unreservedly apologised" for any controversy caused following a car crash in which he was involved in last year.

In a statement released to this journalist this morning, the Fianna Fáil councillor admitted he contacted Gardai before he was elected mayor last June, to check if he was likely to be charged in relation to the crash.

This would seem to contradict a statement released by Mayor O'Dea last Sunday in which he states: "Following the accident I cooperated fully with An Garda Siochana and subsequently made no further contact with An Garda Siochana about the issue."

The October 4th statement also said that in early May this year he was "informed" no action would be taken against him by gardai.

The latest statement by Mayor O'Dea comes following renewed calls by some of his Fianna Fáil colleagues and the party leader Michael Martin, to make a further and more full statement about the matter.

Mr O'Dea stated this morning: "In response to calls to make a clarifying statement, I want to confirm that I was involved in a road traffic accident in December 2014. I was driving my own car and was alone when I had to swerve to avoid another car."

He said his car came to a halt after it overturned on the road and he sustained injuries.

He was taken to hospital and tests were conducted.

"My car overturned and the Gardai and Fire Brigade attended the scene. No one was injured in this accident apart from myself."

Mr O'Dea does not clarify whether or not anybody else was in the car with him at the time of the crash.

"I want to reiterate and emphasise that I cooperated fully with the gardai at all times and that I made no effort to influence the gardai whatsoever," he added in his statement this morning.

The statement continues: "Before I was elected Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick I enquired about the status of the accident. I understood that there would be no proceedings in relation to this matter."

The matter is being investigated internally by garda management as gardai appear not to have followed up on the matter.

"I now understand an internal Garda investigation is ongoing and this should be allowed to be completed. I very much regret the incident and unreservedly apologise for any controversy caused," the statement ends.

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