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Garda did not leak Shatter claim - TD

A GARDA did not leak details of Justice Minister Alan Shatter's failure to complete a breathalyser test, Independent TD Mattie McGrath revealed today.

Mr McGrath, who first raised the matter in the Dail yesterday, strongly hinted a member of the public came to him with the information.

Asked if a garda approached him, the Tipperary South TD said: "Unlike the minister (Shatter), I don't go around trawling into people's careers to find out what went on in the past."

He added: "It's a public place (where Mr Shatter was stopped), on a public street in Pembroke, outside a pretty noted restaurant. People are out there smoking on the street, members of the public are there."


Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Mr McGrath said a garda report on the incident is in existence and he called on Mr Shatter to make it available.

"Of course there is a garda report. This was a mandatory checkpoint ... It's an offence for anybody in law ... not to provide a specimen. Gardai were left with no choice but to make a report on it," Mr McGrath said.

He reiterated that he wants Mr Shatter to go into the Dail and make a full statement on the matter.

Mr Shatter denied he was cautioned by gardai at a checkpoint just prior to becoming Minister in 2011 – as alleged by Mr McGrath – but admitted he was stopped by officers and asked to supply a breath test on a previous occasion.

In a subsequent statement, Mr Shatter denied any such event occurred at the time stated by Deputy McGrath.

However, he said he recalled an occasion in 2009, or possibly late 2008, when he was stopped at a garda 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," Mr Shatter said.

"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 Dail Eireann and that I had consumed no alcohol of any nature that day. The garda consulted with another garda and I was waved on," the minister said.