Murphy defends getting Garda lift from Cork to Dublin

Murphy’s account conflicts with that of taxi driver who said he didn’t want to pay fare

A Government Minister and a taxi driver have given conflicting accounts of their dealings on a night the Minister's car broke down and he ended up being driven in a Garda car from near Mitchelstown, Co Cork, to Dublin Airport.

Sinn Féin has accused the Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy, of poor judgment and of putting the Garda in a difficult position.

The Minister’s car broke down shortly after 3am on September 13th when he was driving to Dublin Airport to catch a 6.40am flight to Brussels for a meeting about the Syrian crisis.

He said he found it difficult to source a taxi due to the early hour and contacted the Garda Síochána for assistance.


He rang gardaí initially to ask them to drive him to a taxi base, but they offered to bring him to Portlaoise.

The Fine Gael TD said the plan was to source a taxi there but they became tight on time and the gardaí continued on to Dublin Airport.

He said he established with gardaí that it was a quiet night and he was not taking resources from elsewhere.

Taxi driver Gerdy Murphy from Mitchelstown told The Irish Times the Minister declined his services on cost grounds. "The bottom line is that he didn't want to pay the taxi fare. Initially I said I might not be able to drive him because I was working all night and I was worried about tiredness. I rang a number of colleagues who were not available and when I got back after 10 minutes he said that he could drive my car and offered to do so.

“I was quite prepared to drive him knowing that if I got tired he could take over and I told him so. I was only about six minutes from the breakdown area.

“He asked me how much the journey would cost and I told him between €300 and €350 and he said he would make alternative arrangements.”

The Minister told Cork’s Red FM News he had a conversation with a taxi driver.

“I did offer to drive the taxi myself but by the time he came back we were already heading to Dublin. He said he was finishing his shift.

“We tried to ascertain if I could drive the car. That offer wasn’t available. I think there was a fare mentioned but by the time he would have come out, we were already well gone.”

Speaking in New York, following his address to UN General Assembly, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Murphy was offered a lift by An Garda Siochána.

Mr Kenny said it was an “emergency situation” and Mr Murphy was “travelling to get a flight”.

“My understanding is that the Gardai offered to help him. I don’t have the details of it, I have been busy all day. Three o’clock in the morning, travelling to catch a flight to Brussels on business. Obviously, the Gardai, as I understand it, offered to help him.”