Monday 26 August 2019

McGrath apologises to Cabinet colleagues over controversial Garda drink-driving crackdown remarks

Finian McGrath
Finian McGrath

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

FINIAN McGrath has apologised to his Cabinet colleagues for his controversial remarks about the Gardaí and their enforcement of the drink-driving crackdown.

Sources said he made the apology to his colleagues for the "mistake" as ministers met this morning.

There were demands for junior disabilities minister Mr McGrath's resignation from the families of road victims and calls for him to apologise to them and the Gardaí in the wake of his extraordinary comments.

He sustained severe criticism since he gave claimed in a Sunday Independent interview that Gardaí have become politicised and have been “over the top” in the implementation of tougher drink-driving laws.

He also claimed that Gardaí are blaming transport minister Shane Ross for the laws when they are stopping motorists at checkpoints.

Mr McGrath withdrew his comments on Sunday evening and said they were “wrong” in the midst of a furious response from government colleagues and Gardaí.

And last night he apologised "unreservedly" to the families of road victims and the Gardaí.

He said he was aware his comments “caused hurt”.

Mr McGrath said this was never his intention and that “families and victims suffering the aftermath of drink driving have always been my priority.”

He said he voted for, and fully supports, the drink-driving crackdown that automatically disqualifies any motorist found to have consumed alcohol. Mr McGrath added: “I will continue to support all road safety initiatives and measures.”

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section