Dara Murphy says he made ‘judgment call’ on Garda lift

Minister of State says he had no alternative way to make trip from Cork to Dublin

Dara Murphy, who has been criticised for allowing gardaí to drive him from Cork to Dublin Airport after his car broke down, has said "if Ministers have no alternative, the guards should be called".

The Minister of State for European Affairs claimed a duty Garda sergeant told him they were having a quiet evening and that the resources were there to allow them to drop him to to the airport to catch an early morning flight to Brussels.

"I discussed the possibility of getting some transport to a point where I could get a taxi," said Mr Murphy yesterday on RTÉ's This Week programme. "He said to me that they were quiet, they had some additional resources.

“I had no issue if the journey had to be terminated if they were needed somewhere else. They offered me the assistance and ultimately a call was made by the guards to take me to Dublin Airport.”


Mr Murphy is under pressure to explain how he ended up taking a lift from gardaí on September 13th after his car broke down on the side of the road outside Mitchelstown, Co Cork at 3.30am.

He expressed regret, stating that he had made a “judgment call” but he reiterated his belief that he made every attempt to find an alternative way to get to Dublin Airport.

When pressed as to whether or not he felt it was inappropriate, he responded: “I felt I had to make the call on the night. I believe that is the protocol in place. If Ministers have no alternative, the guards should be called.

Mr Murphy said he offered to pay gardaí back for any overtime that might have been accrued taking him to the airport but was told it was not necessary as the drive took place within the normal shift for the gardaí involved.

He also offered to pay for the petrol but was told there was no mechanism to do so.

“I do regret if people feel that I did something inappropriate. I made a call on the night representing this country,” he said.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times