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Wallace to lodge complaint against Shatter over penalty points allegation

The Wexford TD says the allegations made by Alan Shatter on live TV about an alleged motoring offence are unsubstantiated.

Alan Shatter last night alleged that Mick Wallace had benefitted from Garda discretion by avoiding penalty points when he was caught using a phone while driving.
Alan Shatter last night alleged that Mick Wallace had benefitted from Garda discretion by avoiding penalty points when he was caught using a phone while driving.
Image: RTÉ Player

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has said allegations made against him by justice minister Alan Shatter on live television last night were “a serious abuse of the Minister’s powers”.

Wallace and Shatter were guests on RTÉ’s Prime Time, discussing the Garda inquiry into alleged abuse of the penalty points deletion system, when Shatter alleged that Wallace had himself been cautioned for driving while using a mobile phone, but was the benefit of Garda discretion and avoided penalty points as a result.

Wallace, who said he had no idea what Shatter was referring to, this evening insisted he was unaware of the incident, and said a fixed charge notice was never issued to him.

This evening the TD said he was in the process of lodging a formal complaint with the Standards in Public Office Commission, alleging that Shatter’s comments were in breach of the legally binding code of conduct for people elected to public office.

He said he was also asking the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate “any possible breach of the Data Protection legislation, the basis for the Minister’s allegation, the circumstances surrounding the seeking and providing of any personal data to the Minister in preparation for the Prime Time debate”.

“I believe that this allegation represents a serious abuse of the Minister’s powers and a breach of Section 1.5 of the Code of Conduct for Office Holders,” Wallace said in a statement published on his website.

“Furthermore, the Minister has displayed a worrying disregard for the dignity of his office and a surprising lack of awareness regarding his legal obligations.”

The Wexford TD said he was surprised that Shatter would broadcast an unsubstantiated claim against him on national television, when Shatter had previously condemned Wallace and others for using Dáil privilege to name people whose penalty points had been removed.

Wallace said he believed Shatter’s allegation “represented an attempt to avoid a discussion of the grave issues of Garda malpractice, issues which I am determined to continue to pursue”.

The TD also suggested that Shatter had made his allegations to undermine the criticisms of Wallace, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Clare Daly and Joan Collins over the status of the internal Garda investigation into alleged penalty points corruption, and published a letter written by the four to the cabinet last month.

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

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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