An emergency meeting of the Fianna Fáil members of the Metropolitan District of Limerick City and County Council was held last night to assess the position of the metropolitan mayor of the city following revelations that he is at the centre of an internal Garda probe into the failure of officers to investigate his involvement in a motoring incident.
The Irish Times reported on Saturday that Garda Headquarters has ordered an internal disciplinary inquiry in Limerick after a car crash last December.
According to the report, a BMW car overturned on the outskirts of Limerick City on December 11, 2014, and the driver had to be helped from the vehicle by gardaí and firefighters.
The driver claimed that he had swerved to avoid another vehicle that fled the scene.
The lack of prosecution in the case came to the attention of the Garda authorities earlier this year, which prompted an internal disciplinary investigation by Phoenix Park.
Mr O’Dea, a first-time councillor who is a well known local publican, issued a statement just hours before an emergency meeting was held to discuss his position as mayor which has been called into question by some of his own party colleagues.
In the statement, the metropolitan mayor confirmed that he had been involved in a car accident last year but insisted “the matter is closed”.
“In December 2014, I was involved in a single-vehicle road traffic accident. I was the sole occupant of the car,” he said.
“Following the accident I co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána and subsequently made no further contact with An Garda Síochána about the issue.
“In early May 2015, I was informed there would be no action against me I consider the matter closed.”
The meeting of the six members of the Metropolitan District of Limerick City and County Council was called for 9pm last night and Mr O’Dea was invited to attend.
The five other members of the Fianna Fáil Group in the metropolitan district are: James Collins (leader of the grouping) and councillors Joe Crowley, Kieran O’Hanlon, Shane Clifford, and Seán Lynch.
“There will be a meeting to discuss the reports over the weekend and to decide on our next course of action,” Mr Clifford had confirmed.
“We will be dealing with this as swiftly and as transparently as possible and in a manner that is as fair as possible to all concerned, while we are still establishing the facts.”
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