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TD: We didn't demonise those who had points cancelled by naming them in Dáil

Joan Collins has defended her naming of high-profile individuals who allegedly had penalty points cancelled in the Dáil chamber last December.

YouTube: Hugh O’Connell

INDEPENDENT TD JOAN Collins has insisted that she and her left-wing colleague Clare Daly did not demonise high-profile individuals by naming them in the Dáil as having had penalty points cancelled.

She was speaking at a press conference this week where she and colleagues Daly, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, and Mick Wallace outlined their concerns about the recent investigations into the allegations of inappropriate cancellation of penalty points by gardaí.

Last December, Daly and Collins named a judge who was alleged to have had points on their licence terminated while Collins went further a week later naming an Irish sports star and a prominent journalist as having had points cancelled.

By law, TDs are entitled to make a potentially defamatory statement in either house of the Oireachtas under the defence of absolute privilege. Collins claimed at the time the cancellation of points was part of a “systemic abuse of the system and malpractice”.

However, two recently published investigations into the matter found no evidence of widespread malpractice in the use of discretion to terminate fixed charge notices but the independent TDs disputed the findings and the content of the report this week.

Collins said she did not regret naming the high-profile individuals in the Dáil last December saying that there were “questions to be asked” at the time.

Read: ‘Dysfunctional and flawed’: TDs slam penalty points investigation

Watch: Mick Wallace says he was the victim of an unlawful arrest

More: Ming points controversy ‘damages reputation of independents’ – Joan Collins

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Hugh O'Connell

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