TDs try to raise penalty points issue
Calls have been made for a public inquiry into allegations of corruption in the removal of penalty points from drivers’ licences.
Four TDs who attempted to raise the issue said gardaí who reported the claims were being “victimised”.
Independent TD Mick Wallace claimed that since January the Government had “ignored” reports by two gardaí that fixed-charge penalties were being “terminated”. But his attempt to raise the matter in the Dáil was ruled out of order. The Wexford TD said the gardaí went to the “Garda confidential recipient for whistleblowers but did not get any satisfaction or protection”. He said “honest gardaí are being undermined”. They “got a warning when one of them said to one of the gardaí: ‘I’ll tell you something. If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.’ That is a disgrace.”
United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly also attempted to raise the issue and said honest gardaí were “being victimised because they have uncovered the systematic abuse of motoring charges and terminations to those of some very powerful and influential people in the State, including members of the judiciary”.
The Dublin North TD said “Judge Devins has been named in the newspapers as have sports figures and other officials, including gardaí”.
When Leas Cheann Comhairle Michael Kitt called on her to resume her seat Ms Daly said “we are talking about the loss of millions to the State”.
Her ULA colleague Joan Collins also attempted to raise the matter calling it a “national issue of corruption regarding penalty points”. When she too was ruled out of order the Dublin South Central TD described the situation as “outrageous”.
She added: “There are fixed-term notices and judges are giving down charges to people with penalty points and Mary Devins is named in this. It is outrageous.” When Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan also attempted to raise the issue, the Leas Cheann Comhairle described the TDs’ attempts to raise it as “an orchestrated campaign” .