Gilmore unaware of other incidents of quashing of penalty points

Tanaiste declines to comment on Ming’s “eccentricities”

Government TDs say Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan (pictured) has undermined his own penalty points campaignn. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Government TDs say Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan (pictured) has undermined his own penalty points campaignn. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Wed, Mar 13, 2013, 22:59

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has declined to comment on Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan’s “eccentricities” and said he was unaware of other deputies having had penalty points quashed.

Mr Flanagan, who has had two sets of points removed, has alleged 15 Oireachtas members have had points quashed. Mr Gilmore said: “I don’t know of anybody else who has done this…I don’t know of any other deputy who has done it”.

Asked if Mr Flanagan’s explanation of what had happened in the two cases he disclosed to the Dail yesterday was credible, Mr Gilmore said: “I really am not in a position to comment on Deputy Flanagan’s eccentricities.”

Mr Gilmore said the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was investigating allegations that gardaí had “wiped” the penalty points of prominent people and said the outcome of the investigation should be awaited.

“As far as deputies avoiding penalty points is concerned…I’ve never done it and I don’t know of anybody else who has,” he added.G

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said Mr Flanagan had undermined the campaign by some Independent TDs for a public inquiry into allegations of corruption in the removal of penalty points from driving licences.

“I don’t know of any other deputies that have used their position to supress penalty points but Minister Shatter is investigating this. I think he will bring that in due course to a proper conclusion,” Mr Bruton said.

“Clearly any abuses have to be dealt with but it is very surprising that those who are highlighting this are found to be involved themselves. It does undermine the credibility of the case but I think this has to be dealt with we have to get a robust response.”

Mr Gilmore and Mr Bruton were speaking at the announcement of Ministerial St Patrick’s Day trips at an event in Sandyford, Dublin this morning.