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the points

Major development in Munster penalty point probe as dozens told they won't face prosecution

The controversial investigation has been ongoing for more than three years.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, including a number of well-known sports stars, along with gardaí have been told they will face no prosecution for their alleged part in cancelling of penalty point cases. 

A number of gardaí have been suspended from duty in Limerick and Clare as detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) investigate the cancelling of road policing tickets across the broader Munster region.

The investigation has been ongoing for more than three years.  

There has been strong criticism of the NBCI investigation by local representatives as the gardaí involved have been suspended for a lengthy period and say they have not been given adequate information on the progress of the case. 

The probe has involved the questioning of a large number of members of the public - believed to be more than 130 people – who were in contact with various gardaí. They have also had their mobile phones seized.

That investigation began as the NBCI was investigating other issues in Limerick which are currently before the courts.

The Journal understands that members of the public which include well-known sports players, a member of the legal profession, a figure from local politics, as well as gardaí  have received fresh phone calls recently from the NBCI. 

They have been told that no further action will be taken and that the case is now closed. 

It is understood that the no prosecution direction was on phase one of the probe and involved interactions that many people had with one former senior member of the gardaí.   

A second phase of the investigation is focused on interactions between individual gardaí and their use of discretion in their work in road policing matters. It’s understood that probe also involves a large number of members of the public, and over 100 gardaí have been interviewed. 

Multiple sources have said that the decision to not prosecute was taken after a lengthy file was sent to the DPP.

It is understood that garda investigators were seeking a charge of obstruction of justice in some of the cases. However the DPP directed that no prosecution was possible as there was no evidence to support such an allegation. 

Sources have also indicated that a recent directive sent by Garda management to all gardaí is critical to the decision – given that there was no previous HQ directive advising on the process and protocol associated with cancelling penalty point allegations.

A statement has been requested from the press office of An Garda Síochána.