Flanagan ‘did not engage’ with penalty points inquiry
Minister for Justice says Roscommon TD requested investigation but did not co-operate with it
Luke Ming Flanagan was one of the people who had “made something of a circus” in relation to whistleblowers’ allegations about quashed penalty points, said Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Photograph: Frank Miller
The Independent Roscommon TD Luke Ming Flanagan refused to meet or engage with gardaí investigating the circumstances in which his penalty points were cancelled, the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said.
Mr Shatter yesterday issued a second statement in addition to the one on the Garda Síochána internal investigation into allegations of thousands of penalty points being cancelled. This statement focused on Mr Flanagan’s request to the Minister to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of penalty points he incurred two years ago.
Mr Flanagan was one of four TDs who campaigned to have the allegations of two Garda whistleblowers fully investigation. However, it was disclosed in March that he himself had incurred two penalty points for using a mobile phone while driving but they had been quashed after he wrote to the Garda Síochána in Castlerea claiming that he had been on his way to Dáil Éireann at the time.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Shatter said Mr Flanagan was one of the people who had “made something of a circus” about the whistleblowers’ allegations. He said the Roscommon TD had subsequently written to him on March 21st asking for his own cancelled points to be investigated.
Mr Shatter said that gardaí had interviewed everybody else who had been mentioned in relation to the matter but when he asked about the status of the inquiry he was surprised to find out that Mr Flanagan had not been interviewed.
“I was a little surprised that having made such a brouhaha about it Deputy Flanagan was unwilling to meet with gardaí or cooperate with them or discuss the issue with them,” he said.
Mr Flanagan was not available for comment yesterday afternoon but he took to Twitter later in the day to deny that he had refused to meet with gardaí. “No such meeting was either arranged or cancelled,” he said.
“I refuse to engage with an investigation whereby the gardaí investigate themselves. We need an independent investigation to establish the facts on among other things.”
He was also critical of TDs who had points cancelled - but acknowledged his “own shameful part in all this”.