Rugby hero Ronan O’Gara ‘named and shamed’ in Irish parliament over penalty points
Justice Minister Shatter brands politician a disgrace in penalty points row
An Irish politician has been caught up in a privilege row with Justice Minister Alan Shatter after naming rugby star Ronan O’Gara and crime reporter Paul Williams as recipients of police favors.
Shatter branded Independent deputy Joan Collins a ‘disgrace’ after she claimed in the Dublin parliament that both Williams and O’Gara had driving offences quashed by ‘friendly’ police.
The two celebrities are the latest high profile figures to be named in the parliament for having penalty points cancelled by members of the Irish police force.
The Irish Independent newspaper says that police bosses are currently investigating claims by a disgruntled sergeant that thousands of penalty points for road traffic offences have been cancelled on appeal to a superintendent.
Collins used her parliamentary privileges to name the Ireland star and Williams as being among the motorists who had penalty points written off.
Now she has been accused of abusing privilege, which protects against being sued for remarks made in the chamber.
Justice Minister Shatter said: “It is a total disgrace for people to be named and shamed in the House.
“It was wrong to imply that anyone who had penalty points cancelled was getting special treatment.”
Shatter also told the parliament that there were only 197 allegations made in relation to 1.46 million penalty points applied via ‘fixed charge notices’ over the past three-and-a-half years.
He added: “From the interim report I received, I have noted that some of the cancellations of fixed-charge notices relate to ordinary individuals who are not VIPs.
“Some of the people had penalty points written off because they were not the owner of the car identified by the speed camera.
“There have been other instances, including one in which a young child was being taken to hospital in an emergency.”
The report says a superintendent has the power to cancel points if he receives an appeal in writing, outlining the grounds why the offender feels the points should not be applied.
Shatter also warned deputies not to assume all cancellations were inappropriate.
In response the Wexford deputy Mick Wallace complained that the authorities had given ‘no protection’ to the police whistleblowers who had come forward with allegations of 100,000 cases of penalty points being written off and raised concerns of a ‘cover-up’.
Shatter dismissed the concerns and said: “There will be no special treatment because they are celebrity or pal of someone. Under my watch, the law will be applied.”
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Caroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals...
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Ireland wins top spot on Forbes’ Best Countries
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
- Cork mother grieves for husband, son and...
Mr Hutchinson needs to go back to school and take history and geography lessons. N Ireland (NI) isn't Great Britain (GB), and GB isn't NI. He obviouslUnionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
There is such a thing as a falkland islander ,or a gibralterian or a socalled Ulsterman but on closer examination they are (by choice) overseas englisNotre Dame sues federal government again over birth control
Nobody has explained why the rights of the employer outweigh those of the employee. Millions of Americans opposed the war in Iraq and the senseless deCaroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals a new and much happier woman
I hope she learns a fair amount of Japanese. I remember seeing the movie "Passport to Paris' starring the Olson twins, and "Taken", wi