Daly 'under drink-driving limit'
Independent TD Clare Daly has said she had a 'hot whiskey' before being stopped by gardai on suspicion of drink-driving after she performed an illegal turn on a road in Dublin.
Clare Daly has said she is more determined than ever to pursue her campaign on quashed penalty points following the confirmation today she was well under the legal limit for alcohol when stopped by gardaí last month.
She also linked the leaking to the media of her arrest to allegations she and three other Dáil Deputies have made public that senior gardaí have cancelled penalty points for relatives, colleagues and other prominent people.
She told The Irish Times she wrote to the Garda Ombudsman last week to make a formal complaint about the leaking. The Ombudsman’s office said yesterday it had launched an investigation under S28 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
Ms Daly, a Deputy for Dublin North was arrested by gardaí on suspicion of drunk driving last month after taking an illegal right turn in Kilmainham in Dublin. Her arrest was extensively leaked to the media from within the Garda Síochána the following morning.
Today she said she had received the official result of the test on the urine sample provided by her to gardaÍ and the result was 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine, a third below the allowable limit 67 milligrammes.
She accused those who leaked the information as having an agenda and linked it to the fact that she and three other TDs have made public the assertions of Garda whisteblowers that thousands of penalty points were cancelled for invalid reasons.
“I believe that this was a deliberate attempt to discredit a left-wing TD who has raised issues of malpractice within the Garda Síochána. This information could only have come from within the Gardaí,” she said.
In regard to the investigation, she said: “This is a very serious issue. Every citizen is entitled to their good name and to have their privacy respected.”
She told The Irish Times that she had strongly believed she was below the limit but would have been undeterred from continuing with the campaign, irrespective of the outcome.
Ms Daly was arrested by gardaí in Kilmainham on Monday, January 28th when returning from a two-hour meeting with a family on the southside of the city. She said she had accepted a hot whiskey from the family as she had a cold.
Unfamiliar with the area, she took an illegal right turn when trying to get onto the South Circular Road and was stopped by gardaí.
“I was breathalysed but the equipment did not register a reading. I was arrested and handcuffed on the side of the road. I objected to being handcuffed and stated that I would willingly go to the Garda station. I was told by the arresting Garda that this was procedure.”
She was also placed in a cell on her own at one stage. A garda had also asked her to come back when sober.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said he was aware of Ms Daly’s complaint to the watchdog, which he believed would be thoroughly investigated by the body.
When questioned if gardaí are permitted to handcuff suspected drink-drivers and put them in cells as procedure, Mr Callinan said: “Well of course if a prisoner is violent and you have to deal with that prisoner, you’ve got to restrain him or her in any fashion.
“I’m not talking about this particular case now, but obviously gardaí need to protect themselves as well and they have a duty of care to one another and the people around them.
“So yes, there are very clear guidelines in which people can be suppressed and handcuffed.”