Inquiry on 'quashed' points sought
“This ill-considered press conference should be cancelled,” he said. “The deputies should resist the temptation to present themselves collectively as the accusers, investigators, judge, jury and hangmen, and recognise their responsibility as legislators to respect the constitutional and human rights of others.”
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has appointed an Assistant Commissioner, John O’Mahoney, to examine accusations that 50,000 notices were struck out, including those incurred by high-profile figures.
“They [the four TDs] should understand that, at the very least, those against whom allegations have been made are entitled to the same due process that is afforded to Deputy Wallace in his dealings with the Revenue, the courts and his creditors," Mr Shatter said.
Independent TD Mr Wallace was named as a tax defaulter after being found to have a €1.4 million VAT bill.
Mr Shatter claimed that the scandal concerns only a small minority of the alleged 50,000. He said documentation being examined by the commissioner’s office contained 402 allegations, a number of duplications, and an actual total of 197.
Mr Shatter accused the four TDs of pre-empting the internal Garda inquiry and of violating the privacy of private citizens. He said they were ignoring his statement last week that penalty points can be cancelled in legitimate circumstances. Mr Shatter said he is committed to asking the Garda Inspectorate to investigate the matter if impropriety is identified.
“Mick Wallace TD, the leader of this morning’s Buswells Four, should be awarded Santa’s Brass Neck Award 2012,” Mr Shatter said.
“In pursuit of personal publicity, ignoring due process and in a gross abuse of their positions, Deputies Wallace, Daly, Collins and ‘Ming’ Flanagan are proposing to out and publicly shame and defame individuals for alleged illegality who may have done no wrong.
“The moral outrage to be voiced from their Buswells soapbox is blind to the enormous credibility gap posed by Deputy Wallace leading the charge as a crusader for financial propriety and pillorying others and by all four in their much-trumpeted flouting of the law by refusing to pay the household charge and encouraging others to similarly break the law.”
Mr Shatter said the investigation has shown one case where a parent was taking a sick child to hospital and was hit with a fixed penalty which was subsequently cancelled.
Other cases identified in the review include an individual who was given a penalty for speeding when the registration number had been wrongly recorded and some instances where people engaged with ambulance services were given notices for speeding.
Additional reporting: PA