| 8.3°C Dublin

Wallace denies Shatter claims on phone let-off

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has denied claims that a gardai let him off for using a mobile phone while driving.

The Wexford TD said that it was "news to me" after Justice Minister Alan Shatter made the accusation on live television.

Mr Shatter alleged that the TD had benefited from the discretion of gardai who simply "warned him not to do it again".

The minister said on RTE's Prime Time that the incident occurred last May. Such an offence carries two penalty points and a fixed charge of €60.

However Mr Wallace, who has been to the forefront of a campaign against the cancellation of penalty points, said that he had no recollection of being stopped by officers while on a phone. "That's news to me, I don't remember it," he said.

It is understood Mr Shatter was referring to an incident in North Dublin, when Mr Wallace was allegedly stopped and warned verbally but not given any formal sanction.



Sources say that there is no record of Mr Wallace being stopped on the gardai's system and therefore it was "bizarre" that the Justice Minister would raise the issue now.

Mr Wallace had earlier voiced concern about this week's report into quashed penalty points, compiled by Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahony, calling it a "whitewash".

Mr Wallace joins a growing list of politicians facing allegations that they escaped penalty points.

Previously it emerged that Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, campaigned with Mr Wallace for an investigation into the cancellation of penalty points, had two points for using a mobile phone while driving quashed.

He wrote to gardai in Castlerea claiming that he had been on his way to the Dail at the time.

Earlier this week Mr Flanagan named Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle, Fianna Fail's Robert Troy and Labour senator John Kelly as having points written off.