Daly 'fully responsible' for actions related to driving incident

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 00:00

I am fully responsible for my actions and will take whatever consequences are necessary should anything come about

Independent TD Clare Daly has said she is fully responsible for her actions and will take whatever consequences may be necessary after being stopped and breathalysed by gardaí.

Ms Daly was a leading light in a recent campaign for a public inquiry into allegations of corruption in the removal of penalty points from driving licences.

Last night she insisted people who violated road safety regulations should be treated in a transparent way and be exposed to the full rigours of the law.

“And that is something that should absolutely happen in my case if I am found guilty of any offence, the same as it would for every other citizen. And I am fully responsible for my actions and will take whatever consequences are necessary should anything come about.”

Along with fellow Independent TDs Mick Wallace, Joan Collins and Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Ms Daly last year obtained a dossier of quashed offences put together by two Garda whistleblowers. The dossier could not be released for legal reasons, but a list of 20 sample cases was made public by the four TDs in December.

It alleged a motorist caught speeding seven times in a four-month period had all of his fixed-charge tickets “terminated”, while a superintendent quashed up to 70 tickets and falsified and destroyed records.

Transparent

Asked by RTÉ last night if she was concerned people might regard her as a hypocrite in the light of Monday night’s events, Ms Daly made clear she was prepared to face the music if necessary.

“I think the same point applies here: the point we were making in that situation is that people who violate road safety regulation should be treated in a transparent way and be exposed to the full rigours of the law, not secret deals done behind the scenes,” she said.

Born in Newbridge, Co Kildare, but now living in Swords, Co Dublin, Ms Daly is a first-time TD. A trade union shop steward with Siptu at Aer Lingus, she was elected to Fingal County Council in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and 2009.

Pro-choice voice

A prominent pro-choice voice in the ongoing abortion debate, her second Termination of Pregnancy Bill was defeated in the Dáil last November. Opposed by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil, it was supported by Sinn Féin, except for that party’s Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín.

Although elected as a Socialist TD under the United Left Alliance (ULA) banner in the 2011 general election, Ms Daly left the party last September. The rift was primarily due to disputes over her close political relationship with Mr Wallace, which survived the revelation last summer that he made false VAT returns.

The ULA, which began with five TDs, has had its Dáil representation reduced to three following the decision at the weekend by Socialist deputy Joe Higgins to leave the group.

The party said it and the ULA’s standing as “principled left organisations” had been damaged by the way sections of the media “used Mick Wallace’s tax evasion and Clare Daly’s close political connection to him to attack the left”.

The Socialists said it was unfortunate that Ms Daly and Ms Collins “intensified this political connection with Mick Wallace” by organising a press conference about the penalty point allegations with him and Mr Flanagan.

Ms Daly did not return calls last night.