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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 27 July 2021

Wallace admits gardaí used discretion when caught on phone while driving

The Wexford TD called for an investigation into how the justice minister found out the information.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

MICK WALLACE HAS called for an investigation into how the justice minister found out confidential information about him.

It comes after Alan Shatter alleged that Wallace was cautioned for driving while using a mobile phone but did not receive any penalty points at the discretion of the gardaí.

Speaking on the Today with Pat Kenny Show on RTÉ this morning, Wallace said at first he “genuinely could not recall the incident and actually thought he [Shatter] made it up”.

However, following some more thought and a prompt from a journalist, Wallace remembered a day last year when he was stopped at traffic lamps at the ‘Five Lamps’ on the North Circular Road in Dublin. The deputy said he was talking on the phone and two gardaí in a patrol car pulled up beside him.

The Wexford TD said he knew he was in the wrong and “rolled down the window” to speak with them:

“I held up my hands and they said it was ‘ OK’ and we made small talk and the lights turned green and we pulled off.”

Minister Alan Shatter made the allegations about Deputy Mick Wallace on RTÉ’s Prime Time show. (Image: RTÉ Player)

He admitted that the gardaí exercised discretion in his case but was adamant that he wasn’t stopped and he did not receive a warning – like the minister for justice had implied.

“Does he have a record on other politicians? Did he go looking for the information or did the gardaí officially give it to him? How did that incident – when I wasn’t even stopped or I wasn’t even warned – be on the record?” asked Wallace. “If you think that’s the way a minister should behave? I don’t.”

He added that he would be filing a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission but he wouldn’t be calling on Minister Shatter to resign.

The deputy also said he was never against discretion being used by the gardaí but called for a paper trail and more monitoring in those circumstances. He admitted that his previous call for people who received discretion to appear in court would clog up the courts system.

Read: Taoiseach backs Shatter in penalty points row with Wallace>

Poll: Should Alan Shatter have made his Prime Time comments?

About the author:

Amy Croffey

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