Roscommon county manager rejects Ming claims

Independent TD admits having penalty points wiped was corrupt

Luke "Ming" Flanagan pictured outside Leinster House last year. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Luke "Ming" Flanagan pictured outside Leinster House last year. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

AOIFE CARR

Roscommon county manager Frank Dawson has rejected an allegation by Luke “Ming” Flanagan that he “sorted out” his penalty points for him.

Mr Flanagan told the Dáil last night that he has had two sets of penalty points quashed , one of which had been “sorted out” by a senior Roscommon County Council official.

The county manager said today he assumed he was the official Mr Flanagan was referring to.

“I assume I am the official Deputy Flanagan is referring to in his recent statements within and outside Dáil Eireann as he did mention in a conversation with me in December 2010 that he was stopped by An Garda Síochana for using a mobile phone whilst driving, outside the Council offices,” Mr Dawson said. “I utterly reject his allegations that I ‘sorted out his penalty points issue for him’.

“I will take all necessary steps to protect my good name and reputation. Today I am forwarding my account of this matter to the Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochana in charge of the investigation. In this context it would not be appropriate to comment any further at this time.”

Asked on Shannonside radio today if he was a corrupt politician, Mr Flanagan replied: “On the issue of the penalty points, it was corrupt what I did. So draw your own conclusions from that.”

However, Mr Flanagan said he would not resign his Dáil seat, despite previous denials that he had penalty points and his high-profile stance against points being cancelled for a number of high-profile figures.

“No, I don’t think it is a resigning matter,” he said. “I think there are a lot of others things I will be able to do for the people of Roscommon and South Leitrim and in the new constituency in the future.”

“But there’s no questioning it - I have let people down. There’s no denying that. And for that, and to the people of Ireland, I am sorry that I have let them down. I have definitely disappointed people, I have disappointed myself and hopefully the people that elected me will forgive me for that.”

Independent TD Mick Wallace said Mr Flanagan should have taken the penalty points . However, he said the revelations did not change the fact that the wiping of penalty points was “widespread”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio this morning, Mr Wallace said the Roscommon TD would learn from his mistake. “He’s made a mistake. He’s going to learn from it. It doesn’t change the bigger picture, the bigger issue, which is the fact that we have evidence of serious malpractice in the Garda Síochana. The termination of penalty points is widespread.”

Both Mr Wallace and Mr Flanagan were among a group of Independent TDs who launched a campaign some months ago attacking members of the Garda for wiping the penalty points of prominent people.

Additional reporting: PA