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Shatter versus Ming: Justice Minister takes aim at 'self-serving' TD

The Minister for Justice says Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan cancelled a meeting with Gardaí who were investigating the cancellation of his penalty points.

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has sharply criticised Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan in an unexpected personal attack over penalty points.

In a statement released just 45 minutes after the publication of two reports into penalty points cancellations by Gardaí, the Minister said Flanagan had been due to meet with investigating Gardaí about his allegations that he had penalty points unexpectedly quashed, but had cancelled the meeting and said he didn’t wish to engage any further.

Alan Shatter said he was disappointed ‘but not entirely surprised’ that despite Flanagan’s ‘self-serving’ public statements, he had refused to engage with the investigation.

“I am disappointed but not entirely surprised that Deputy Flanagan, despite all his public statements and having written a very self-serving letter to me on 21 March 2013 regarding the matter, naming individuals he claimed were involved and stating that he believed ‘the truth about the situation must be established’ and that he ‘would have a very strong argument for having the points removed’ is unwilling to engage further with the Garda investigation,” the Minister said this afternoon.

Shatter said that Flanagan’s claim that TDs were exempt from penalty points if they were travelling to the Dáil – which Flanagan says he was informed of by Gardaí – is “simply incorrect”.  He cited the Constitution, which says that members of the Oireachtas have immunity from arrest, but not for less serious offences.

Alan Shatter said the investigation into the cancellation of Flanagan’s penalty points is almost complete but investigators want written confirmation of some details from the TD so that the investigation can be brought to a close.

It is not the first time that the Justice Minister has strongly criticised Flanagan. In February, Shatter told the Dáil that he found it “a little bit difficult not to totally throw up” when listening to the Independent TD talk about alleged Garda corruption.

Earlier this year the Independent TD revealed that Gardaí had removed his penalty points and told him that he was exempt because he had been travelling to the Dáil at the time the points were awarded. Flanagan strongly criticised the Gardaí for quashing his penalty points.

Read: Three ‘possible breaches’ identified in penalty points report >

Read: Ming: I want my penalty points back >

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