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Independent TD Clare Daly Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
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'Unexpected number' of gardaí accessed information on Clare Daly arrest

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said today that he has had concerns for some time about sensitive and confidential information finding its way into the public domain.

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has said today that an “unexpected number” of gardaí accessed the PULSE computer system in relation to the arrest of Clare Daly in January for suspected drink driving.

Daly was pulled over by gardaí for a wrong turn and was arrested after a breathaliser failed to register a reading.  Details were quickly leaked to the media but the independent TD was later cleared, with tests showing she was 33 per cent below the allowable limit.

She has since lodged complaints with the Garda Ombudsman Commission and the Data Protection Commissioner regarding the leak. In a statement today Shatter said he has “had concerns for some time about sensitive and confidential information finding its way into the public domain”.

Following correspondence with the Commissioner, Shatter told the Dáil that an “unexpected number of members of the garda force” accessed the PULSE computer system in relation to the incident.

He added that it is “absolutely clear that certain steps need to be taken to ensure the strict application of data protection rules with regard to the operation, usage and access to the PULSE system”.

Shatter said he expects to receive a copy of the internal garda report referred to by Clare Daly during Leader’s Questions today, which recommends that PLUSE access must be restricted to rank and file gardaí, within the next few days.

“As I have already indicated I will publish the outcome of that report as soon as I have had an opportunity to consider its contents and bring it to cabinet,” he added.

Related: Clare Daly cleared of suspected drink driving>

More: TD Clare Daly stopped by Gardaí over alleged drink driving>

Read: Daly accepts “full responsibility for serious lack of judgement”>

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