Sheehan debacle ‘embarrassing’

FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny has said a drunken drive involving one of his deputies, which has now sparked a Garda probe, should not have happened.

He said it was embarrassing for his party and out of character for the deputy involved, PJ Sheehan.

Mr Kenny defended his handling of the affair and the fact Mr Sheehan only resigned from his deputy spokesman’s role on Monday, after the details of his threats to gardaí were reported in the media.

Mr Kenny knew about Mr Sheehan having to be put into a taxi on the night in July, because he walked past and told gardaí to ignore the TD’s complaints.

But he was not aware of the tirade the Cork south west directed at a garda minutes earlier until it received media attention this week.

Mr Kenny said he had no problem with the actions of the gardaí and he would not comment on how the report on the night was leaked to the media.

“These things are always embarrassing. The gardaí have their job to do and they do it in exemplary fashion and I can’t comment on their production of a report,” he said.

Mr Kenny was speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy.

He said he spoke with Mr Sheehan, who subsequently issued a full and unreserved apology and tendered his resignation as a junior spokesperson on agriculture. Mr Kenny said it should never have happened and was completely out of character for the deputy involved.

Elsewhere Garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy has asked an assistant commissioner to investigate how the report on Mr Sheehan’s altercation with the gardaí policing the Dáil came into the public domain.

The sergeant’s initial report on Mr Sheehan’s attempt to drive home and his threat to a garda on duty, when he said she would go nowhere when Fine Gael got into power, was leaked in detail to two Sunday newspapers.

Mr Murphy said he had no problem with the garda’s handling of the incident on the night.

He said the superintendent in charge of the area had decided no charges were appropriate and he respected this.

However, he said given the level of coverage given to Mr Sheehan’s antics he did want to know how the police report was supplied to journalists.


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