He is a most approachable minister and a great listener who demonstrates to the people of Ireland his integrity, consistency, fairness and transparency. When he hears of a problem he takes immediate steps to verify it and to act on it where action is needed. He is a very courageous man and never scared of doing the right thing for Irish road users. His stance on the penalty points debacle shows again his courage in his search for truth and justice.
Unlike many politicians to whom we have become accustomed he does not set out to please in order to guarantee his seat in the next election. Many drivers would like the freedom of texting while driving, speeding, drink driving, etc, but it takes a minister of courage to tackle these issues and to introduce penalty points for these offences. It is his responsibility to save lives and prevent injuries — that is what we pay him to do.
From the outset of the penalty points debacle he sought truth and justice by meeting with Sergeant McCabe and found him to be a very credible witness. The Garda Inspectorate verified that penalty points were being quashed on a widespread basis. Of course it is only right for Minister Varadkar to thank the whistleblowers for shining a light on this very dark place.
As an organisation of people who lost loved ones on our roads and who suffered serious, disabling and debilitating injuries we take a very dim view of An Garda Síochána quashing penalty points. This is the final insult. These errant gardaí investigated the deaths and injuries of thousands of Irish people. At first hand they know the devastation that road traffic offences can lead to on our roads. Yet by quashing penalty points, these gardaí broke their oath of allegiance to this State, they devalued all our lives and insulted those who have been disabled and/ or bereaved in road traffic collisions.
We hope that Taoiseach Enda Kenny will see Leo Varadkar, as we do, as ‘distinguished’ among his ministers.