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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Mick Wallace attend a press event over alleged Garda malpractice in removing penalty point offences.
# Penalty Points
Wallace: Ming should have accepted quashed penalty points
The Wexford TD says, however, that Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s actions don’t change the ‘bigger issue’ of systematic termination.

ONE OF LUKE ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s fellow independent TDs has said Flanagan should have accepted the penalty points he was given for using a mobile phone while driving.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace said, however, that Flanagan’s actions did not undermine the broader campaign by some TDs to highlight alleged Garda malpractice by having penalty points expunged.

“He’s made a mistake, he’s got to learn from it,” Wallace told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“It doesn’t change the bigger picture, the bigger issue – which is the fact that we have evidence of serious malpractice in the Garda Síochána,” he added.

Wallace and Flanagan were among four TDs who had held a press conference before Christmas, where details from a Garda dossier – which outlined tens of thousands of cases where penalty point offences had been wiped from the records – were revealed.

The others were Clare Daly and Joan Collins of the United Left Alliance.

“The termination of penalty points is widespread,” Wallace said.

We have evidence of anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 episodes of it.

Last night, in a debate on new legislation to allow minor criminal convictions be wiped from a person’s record, Flanagan said he would appeal for the penalty points and associated fines to be restored to his licence.

via HEAnet

He was caught using a mobile phone while driving on two occasions in 2011 – once on June 3, after which a Garda sergeant advised him to write and explain his business, after which no penalty points were added to his licence.

On the second occasion, he was travelling to a council meeting in Roscommon when he was again stopped for using his mobile – mentioning the incident to a council official when he arrived.

He said that official had called him again later that evening, advising that they had “sorted out” the issue for him.

Longstanding legal precedent means members of the Oireachtas cannot be prosecuted for traffic offences if they are travelling on official Oireachtas business.

Read: Ming: I want my penalty points back