Bullet dodged? Drink-driving figures

EARLY this year when it was revealed that Garda statistics recorded almost 1m drink-driving tests that never took place even those brought up on a diet of Darby O’Gill and the Little People fantasy struggled to grasp what was going on. 

The scale of the deception — exacerbated by the fact that 14,500 road traffic convictions had to be set aside because of Garda error — was unprecedented.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was expected to offer an explanation for the fantasy checks to a Dáil committee this week but that process has run into “considerable difficulties” and Ms O’Sullivan will not be able to clarify matters this week. As the Dáil is about to take its summer recess Ms O’Sullivan will not be questioned on the issue until September or maybe even October. This is unacceptable — especially as a Garda inquiry would not tolerate such long-fingering. In most other circumstances, where even a sliver of accountability exists, Ms O’Sullivan would be encouraged to consider her position once the fraud was uncovered. Deferring an explanation for it strengthens that argument.

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