TD alleges three had points quashed
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter rounded on an independent TD for naming people in the Dáil who allegedly had penalty points inappropriately struck off.
Mr Shatter accused United Left Alliance TD Joan Collins of outrageous behaviour when she named a rugby player, journalist and re-named a judge, in the Dáil.
Amid claims that penalty points had been inappropriately removed by gardai in up to 50,000 cases Mr Shatter told the Dail that between January 2009 and June 2012 a total of 1,460,726 fixed charge notices were issue.
He said the “documentation forwarded to the (Garda) Commissioner contained 402 allegations”, but a number of allegations were duplicated and reduced “the actual allegations listed to 197”.
Ms Collins said Mr Shatter accused herself and independents Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, who raised the issue, of “making big assumptions” in the controversy about the number of cases in which penalty points were removed.
"This is not a question of a few celebrities here like Ronan O’Gara or Paul Williams or I mentioned Mary Devins there last week or other judges or multiple gardai”.
Mr Shatter said it was contrary to the rules of the Dáil to read names into the record to the detriment of individuals who cannot defend themselves. It is quite outrageous.”
He said the TDs used the pretext of wanting a public inquiry when they really wanted “a hanging”. The allegations that gardaí had in a number of cases inappropriately cancelled fixed charge notices, mainly for speeding and that would have resulted in penalty points not being applied.
There was “an assumption that any termination of a fixed charge notice is illegal, that any individual who is the recipient of such notice, which is subsequently cancelled is being afforded special treatment. And apparently the view is that any individual who has such notice cancelled should be named and shamed in this House, which is a total disgrace.”
He said the allegations “will be fully and properly investigated. The result of the investigation will be made known and there is no question of a conspiracy or a cover-up.”
Earlier when Mr Shatter said there were fewer than 300 allegations Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn asked whether the Minister was “seriously suggesting there are just 300 questionable cases, not 50,000”.
Mr Shatter said the individual who made the complaints made a calculation of the number of offences and assumed every single cancellation was inappropriate. “This is not the case,” he said.