Quashed points drivers went on to kill

At least two motorists who had penalty point tickets cancelled by gardaí were directly involved in fatal crashes, according to claims by a Garda whistleblower.

The whistleblower claims thousands of gardaí and their family members had penalty point tickets quashed and that Garda computer records were subsequently falsified.

Garda management sources last night said these were just allegations, which “captured just part of the story, but not the full facts”.

There were four cases where a motorist who had penalty points cancelled was involved in fatal crashes. However, the sources said that in one or two of the cases, the motorist may have been a passenger.

Partial, anonymous details of the dossier compiled by the whistleblower were revealed yesterday by four Independent TDs — Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Luke Flanagan, and Joan Collins — who called for an independent public inquiry.

In the details released, the whistleblower said cancelled tickets in the past four years include: 36,839 speeding tickets; 3,270 mobile phone; 1,200 careless driving; 1,871 seat belt; 943 red light; 22,000 tax and insurance.

Some of the 20 allegations detailed include:

* Supt A terminated tickets for wives of staff and a former garda, while an inspector cancelled his and his wife’s speeding tickets;

* Supt B quashed 40 to 70 tickets and allegedly falsified records;

* Supt C cancelled several hundred tickets;

* A Garda officer in another district cancelled hundreds of tickets;

* Three motorists who had tickets cancelled later died in road crashes.

Ms Daly said Justice Minister Alan Shatter told the Dáil last week that a report from the Garda investigation showed there were only 400 allegations under examination and that these were whittled down to 197.

“[The dossier is] evidence of wholescale, systemic, widespread writing off of penalty points and fixed charge penalty notices. It makes it very clear this isn’t about 400 cases or 200 cases,” said Ms Daly.

She said the material in the dossier was made up of downloaded records from the Garda Pulse system.

Mr Wallace said one inspector cancelled up to 1,000 penalty point tickets.

“The Pulse records clearly indicate the pattern of discretion by some gardaí amounts to a serious abuse of that power and it appears from the examples cited in the dossier that this is a relatively common occurrence.”

Senior Garda sources said access to the Pulse system was based on rank and that the two whistleblowers only had access to partial records.

“What people are downloading is not the full story, it’s through a narrow prism and they are making suppositions on that, not facts. People should wait until the internal report is done.”

They said there were central officers who operated the ticket system for the country and no “rogue” inspectors or superintendents.

A Garda spokesman said they would not comment on “internal governance” issues.

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