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Yes, gardai did let me off for driving while on a mobile, TD admits

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Clare Daly and Mick Wallace

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has admitted that gardai did turn a blind eye to his use of a mobile phone while driving.

The Wexford representative confirmed that there was a discussion between him and officers last year while he was stopped at traffic lights in Dublin.

And while Mr Wallace said that he was "wrong" to be making a phone call while behind the wheel of his jeep, he hit out at Justice Minister Alan Shatter for raising the issue on live television.

"I wasn't stopped and I wasn't warned, but I actually remember one day last year I was parked at the lights and a garda vehicle came up beside me and I was on the phone," he explained.

"I rolled down my window and the garda rolled down their window. I threw my hands up and the garda said, 'it's okay'.

"We made small talk for about 15 or 20 seconds and the lights changed and we pulled off."

 

DEVELOPER

Mr Wallace said that the officer used his discretion and decided not to give him two penalty points.

He stopped short of calling on Mr Shatter to resign – but demanded a full independent inquiry into the termination of penalty points by senior gardai.

The former developer said that he initially didn't remember the incident at the Five Lamps in Dublin last May because the minister raised it out of the blue during their Prime Time appearance last Thursday.

"When the issues came up on your programme I was, for a few seconds, really thrown," he told Pat Kenny on RTE radio's Today programme.

"I genuinely could not recall the incident and I actually thought he made it up. I was a bit shocked."

Mr Wallace added: "He said I was stopped and warned. It didn't happen. It's not true."

The TD is now demanding answers as to how the minister came across the information and will report the minister to the Standards in Public Office commission.

He said that Mr Shatter had criticised his colleagues for using Dail privilege to name people who have had points quashed.

Mr Wallace said he had the "names of thousands of people" but has made a conscious decision not to out them.

"Minister Shatter has been damning of us naming anybody.

 

POLITICAL

"He comes along and he brings me into it to suit his political ends.

"Now if you think that's okay, if you think that's the way a minister should behave? I don't think so," he said.

"Am I asking for Shatter to resign? No I'm not, but what I do want is for this to be investigated."

READ ANDREW LYNCH P14


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