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Case of the drunken deputy: is it OK then to career around a car park?

I SUPPOSE we could take the view that PJ Sheehan TD, that great advocate of rural drink driving, at least practises what he preaches, albeit this time in the city.

But the disgraceful behaviour of this deputy leaves a number of very serious questions unanswered.

Mr Sheehan was caught by a garda, in his car, apparently drunk.

The garda advised him to leave the car and find some other way to travel, presumably because it was not an offence. This happened in the car park of Dáil Eireann, a public place surely, even if it is not open to the public.

If it is not an offence to drive while drunk there, it certainly should be (you can kill or maim someone there just as easily as anywhere else). Does it also mean that driving drunk in car parks and other private places frequented by the public is legal? If it is an offence, why did the garda not arrest and charge him, as happens daily to all other drivers in the same condition? The garda also reported threatening language and intimidation.! Why was Sheehan not charged with that? Medai eports said FG leader Enda Kenny was informed at the scene shortly afterwards. Reportedly, his reaction was to suggest the garda forget about it. Why was he not asked if this is true and, if so, to explain or justify this extraordinary reaction?

Pat Burke

Clonsilla Road

Dublin 15


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