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People Before Profit TD Joan Collins in the Dáil this evening Screengrab
Penalty Points

TD claims sports star and journalist had penalty points cancelled

People Before Profit TD Joan Collins has used parliamentary privilege to reveal the names of an Irish sports star and journalist who allegedly had penalty points struck-off their licence.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT TD Joan Collins has used parliamentary privilege to name two more high-profile figures who allegedly had penalty points struck off their driver’s licences.

Several high-profile figures are alleged to be among tens of thousands who have had their penalty points terminated by gardaí with a judge named by Collins and fellow TD Clare Daly in the Dáil last week as having allegedly benefited from the practice.

The judge’s name was again raised in the chamber today along with the names of an Irish sports star and a journalist by Collins who said there was “systematic abuse of the system and malpractice”.

By law, TDs are entitled to make a potentially defamatory statement in either house of the Oireachtas under the defence of absolute privilege.

Justice Minister said of the revealing of the names in the Dáil this evening that it was “quite outrageous” and a “total disgrace” and said that those named had no opportunity to defend themselves.

Earlier today, Shatter told the Dáil that a Garda investigation into the alleged inappropriate removal of penalty points offences from motorists’ licences concerned fewer than 300 incidents.

The issue was raised again by Collins, Daly and independent TD Mick Wallace during Topical Issues in the Dáil this evening.

Before Collins listed the names, Wallace called into question a Garda assistant commissioner investigating the cancellation of penalty points saying that “the notion of the gardaí investigating themselves is not really on”.

ULA TD Clare Daly said there was “a culture out there of writing off penalty points” and called for an IT investigation of the Pulse record system used by gardaí “in the interests of road safety and revenue to the exchequer”.

Collins later said: “What we need is a public inquiry of outing any discrepancies, any mad practices in the system.”

In response Shatter said: “If there has been fixed charges improperly set aside of course I want to know that.”

He said there was investigation being carried out by an assistant garda commissioner but said that the TDs raising the issue were ignoring “specific procedures and legal provisions and guidelines” that allow for circumstances where fixed charged notices are terminated.

“There will be no cover-up of anything on my watch,” he said, adding that he had asked for an investigation and that when he is in a position to report to the house on the outcome of this investigation he will do so.

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Read: Shatter: Allegations on penalty points concern only ‘small minority’ of cases

Read: Garda Commissioner: Investigation into penalty points cancellations will be ‘rigorous’

Read: ULA TDs name judge whose penalty points were allegedly terminated

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