Shatter: how the controversy unfolded

Luke Ming Flanagan Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, and Joan Collins at last December’s press conference during which they  made allegations of penalty points being cancelled by members of the Garda. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Luke Ming Flanagan Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, and Joan Collins at last December’s press conference during which they made allegations of penalty points being cancelled by members of the Garda. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

 

December 4th, 2012: TDs Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, Joan Collins and Luke Ming Flanagan attempt to raise the issue in the Dáil of gardaí allegedly quashing penalty points

December 20th: The four TDs say, according a dossier provided by two Garda whistleblowers, a Garda inspector quashed up to 1,000 fixed-charge notices for traffic offences in the past four years.

January 29th, 2013: Clare Daly says she had a “hot whiskey” before being stopped by gardaí on suspicion of drink-driving after she performed an illegal turn on a road in Dublin on the night of January 28th. She was later found not to be over the drink driving limit.

February 8th Clare Daly says she is more determined than ever to pursue her campaign on quashed penalty points following the confirmation she was well under the legal limit for alcohol when stopped by gardaí in January.

March 12th: Luke “Ming” Flanagan tells Dail he had two sets of penalty points quashed. His admission follows disclosure in a Sunday newspaper that he had been allowed to escape penalty points imposed in June 2011 for using his mobile phone while driving.

May 16th: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, during debate on the handling of the penalty points issue on RTE’s Prime Time, reveals Mick Wallace benefitted from Garda discretion when he was caught using a mobile phone while driving.

May 19th: Mr Wallace says he will lodge a complaint with the Standards in Public Office Commission for Mr Shatter’s use of this information. Fianna Fail says it will consider tabling a motion of no confidence

May 21st:  Alan Shatter tells Dail in statement that he learned of the incident involving Mr Wallace during a briefing by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

May 23rd: Independent TD Mattie McGrath says Mr Shatter was himself involved in an incident at a mandatory alcohol checkpoint before he became minister.

May 24th: Mr Shatter made two attempts to complete a breathalyser test because he was asthmatic when he was stopped at a Garda checkpoint some four years ago, Taoiseach Enda Kenny tells the Dail