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Editorial: Opt-out by Ahern is not acceptable

DERMOT Ahern has failed to live up to his responsibility as Minister for Justice by his mealy-mouthed response to an incident involving a drunk TD intending to drive on public roads.

Ahern has failed to show leadership in the battle against drunk driving by refusing to condemn outright the behaviour of Fine Gael TD PJ Sheehan. The TD appeared to have intended to drive while intoxicated and threatened a female garda who tried to prevent him that her future career prospects would be damaged.

Ahern said Sheehan is a personal friend and it was a matter for the gardai. The minister said he had no intention of commenting on the incident. His failure to criticise the behaviour of a fellow legislator on this serious matter is unacceptable.

The justice minister's stance should incense all who abhor drink driving and it also insults all members of the garda siochana.