TDs say judge had penalty points wiped

Opposition TDs have named Judge Mary Devins as one of the high-profile people who had penalty points wiped from their licences by gardaí.

Both Clare Daly and Joan Collins of the United Left Alliance named Ms Devins in the Dáil yesterday.

They said it was “outrageous” that points had been wiped from people’s licences in this fashion.

Their comments came after it emerged senior gardaí had been using their discretion to wipe points from certain licences since the introduction of the system in 2002.

Although the procedure is meant to be used only for legitimate reasons, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar last week confirmed the receipt of information alleging misappropriate use of it.

It is believed there are two whistleblowers, both members of the gardaí.

The matter was referred to Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who received an interim report on the issue from gardaí in recent days.

It has been reported that tens of thousands of people, including several celebrities, have seen penalty points wiped.

Ms Daly, Ms Collins, and Independent TDs Mick Wallace and Luke Ming Flanagan tried to raise the matter yesterday.

They were repeatedly ruled out of order by Michael Kitt, the leas ceann comhairle, but not before Ms Daly and Ms Collins named the judge.

“Judge Devins has been named in the newspapers, as have sports figures and other officials, including gardaí. We are talking about the loss of millions to the State,” said Ms Daly.

“The Government has had in its possession kn-owledge of the systematic writing-off of motoring offences for almost a year and it has done nothing.”

Ms Collins said: “There are fixed-term notices and judges are giving down charges to people with penalty points and Mary Devins is named in this. It is outrageous.”

However, Mr Kitt reminded the TDs that persons not in a position to defend themselves were generally not named in the Dáil.

“The general practice is that such persons should not be named or referred to in such a way as to make them identifiable, particularly where to do so would be an unreasonable invasion of privacy or where the reference could be in the nature of being a defamatory utterance.”

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