| 7.3°C Dublin

Shatter blasts Ming for not co-operating with gardai


Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Frank McGrath

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Frank McGrath

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photo: Frank McGrath

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter launched a stinging attack on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan for allegedly failing to co-operate with gardai over his penalty points write-off.

Earlier this year, the Independent TD admitted that gardai had removed his points and told him that he was exempt because he had been travelling to the Dail at the time.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD strongly criticised the gardai for this.

Mr Shatter said Mr Flanagan had written to him seeking an explanation as to how two fixed penalty charges he had received were cancelled. Mr Shatter said this was a "little puzzling" because it was Mr Flanagan himself who had sought to have them cancelled.

But he said he'd asked Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to investigate. Individuals named by Mr Flanagan had been interviewed by gardai, he said.



"I was just a little surprised to discover that, apparently, having made such a brouhaha about it, Deputy Flanagan had refused to meet the gardai or co-operate with them or discuss the issue with them."

Mr Flanagan has denied that any such meeting had been arranged and called for an independent inquiry into the cancellation of fixed-charge notices.

Mr Flanagan had been one of the independent TDs who criticised the writing-off of penalty points, but later admitted in the Dail he had got penalty points written off on two occasions.

Mr Shatter was speaking after the publication of the garda report into the quashing of penalty points. Three senior gardai are to face disciplinary proceedings, but the report found no evidence to suggest any act "of criminality, including corruption, deception or falsification of records" as alleged by a whistle-blower.



But the whistle-blower, retired garda John Wilson, said gardai investigating gardai was not good enough.

"I am calling for an independent inquiry headed by a High Court judge" he said.

The three officers who terminated 661 notices, a superintendent and two inspectors acting as divisional officers, are now facing disciplinary proceedings because some of these may not have been conducted within policy and procedure.

Names in the report have been redacted, although one independent TD in the Dail last December named people who allegedly had penalty points struck off, including rugby star Ronan O'Gara, journalist Paul Williams and judge Mary Devins.

The report says some were terminated automatically because the offender was a juvenile, some because of a systems error and others, which were for tax and insurance offences, were terminated once these matters were found to be in order or a vehicle had changed ownership.