TD to name penalty point waive beneficiaries

Several high-profile individuals face the prospect of being identified as motorists who have had penalty points offences controversially wiped from their driver’s licence by gardaí.

Independent TD Clare Daly has indicated she will try and use parliamentary privilege later this week to name people, including celebrities as well as public officials and members of the judiciary, who have benefited from the practice.

The former Socialist Party TD has vowed to publicise the issue as it emerged that thousands of motorists may have benefited from such discretionary use of powers by senior gardaí over recent years.

Ms Daly, as well as fellow Independent TD Mick Wallace have received information from Garda whistleblowers about the use of the little-known powers by gardaí above the rank of superintendent where they believe speed limits have been broken for a valid reason or on compassionate grounds.

Ms Daly vowed over the weekend to use “every means possible” to name high-profile individuals who had penalty points erased in order to highlight the practice.

In reply to a parliamentary question on the issue last week, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said he understood that a senior garda above a certain rank could write off penalty points for legitimate reasons and that “a procedure exists to allow this”.

Mr Varadkar confirmed he had received information from a possible whistleb-lower about alleged inapp-ropriate use of this procedure.

The minister said his officials and the Road Safety Authority had met the person making the allegations.

“While they remain allegations, I do take them seriously,” said Mr Varadkar, who added he had referred the matter to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

It is understood gardaí have forwarded an interim report on the controversial practice to Mr Shatter over the weekend. It is expected to reveal that the practice has become commonplace since penalty points were first introduced in 2002.

It is believed the RSA was so concerned it referred the matter to the Garda Ombudsman Commission and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.


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