A FINE GAEL TD has publicly apologised to the garda he threatened when she stopped him driving out of the gates of Leinster House while drunk.
Cork South West TD PJ Sheehan said the garda who ordered the barriers at the Merrion Road gate to stay closed when he tried to drive home had acted properly.
“I wish to offer a full and unreserved apology for my behaviour.
“In particular I offer my deepest apologies to the gardaí on duty that night who were carrying out their duty in exemplary fashion,” he said.
According to a garda report Mr Sheehan tried to drive off, despite gardaí warning him not to.
Mr Sheehan, 77, then told a garda she would get nothing when Fine Gael got into power. It was 1am on the night the Dáil broke for the summer and Mr Sheehan was not able to stand properly.
His wife Frances apologised for him and eventually he was prevailed upon to take a taxi. Party leader Enda Kenny passed by shortly afterwards and advised the officers to ignore Mr Sheehan’s threats.
The statement read: “I also deeply regret the embarrassment this incident has caused the Fine Gael party, its leader, my colleagues in the party, my constituents... and my wife and family.
“I intend writing a letter in the morning expressing my deep personal apologies and regrets to the gardaí in question,” the deputy from Goleen said.
Later this week Mr Kenny will announce a long-awaited backbench reshuffle, which has been pending since the attempted Fine Gael mutiny. Mr Sheehan, who will not contest the next election, will lose his role as deputy spokesman for agriculture.
The sergeant on duty said he was “shocked” that a garda was threatened.
“(Mr Sheehan) stated nothing of this sort had ever happened to him during his 30 years in office.
“He was highly offended that a garda should interfere with him in this manner. Mr Sheehan was clearly intoxicated and required my assistance to remain upright,” he said.
The garda had to tell the usher at the gates not to lift the barrier or allow Mr Sheehan to drive out onto Merrion Road. The TD had approached the exit with his headlights off.
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