Daly well below limit for alcohol after arrest

Sat, Feb 9, 2013, 00:00

The Independent TD Clare Daly has said she is more determined than ever to pursue her campaign on quashed penalty points following the confirmation yesterday 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 had made public that senior gardaí have cancelled penalty points for relatives, colleagues and other prominent people.

“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. During exchanges a garda had also told her to come back when she was sober.

She said she wrote to the Garda Ombudsman last week to make a formal complaint about the leaking of the story. The ombudsman’s office said yesterday it had launched an investigation under section 28 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

Ms Daly, a TD for Dublin North, was arrested by gardaí on suspicion of drink-driving last month after taking an illegal right turn in Kilmainham in Dublin. Her arrest was leaked to the media from within the Garda Síochána the following morning.

Yesterday 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 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine, well below the allowable limit 67 milligrams.

She accused those who leaked the information as having an agenda and linked it to the fact that she and three other TDs had 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.”

Questioned by journalists in Dundalk, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said he was sure the issue would be thoroughly investigated by the Garda Ombudsman’s office.