Clare Daly TD has welcomed the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar’s calls for a Garda Ombudsman investigation into the Penalty Points Controversy. Speaking on the matter Clare said, “The minister’s calls for an ombudsman investigation clearly vindicate the argument put forward by myself and others that there are still questions left unanswered regarding the Penalty Points issue and that Assistant Commissioner, John O’ Mahony’s investigation left much to be desired.”
Clare was speaking following the revelation that Minister Varadkar believes that some of the explanations for “penalty points terminations to the reasonable person seem a bit unusual”. The Minister then went further and said that he felt the RSA’s (Road Safety Authority) proposals for an investigation by the Garda Ombudsman was a “good suggestion”.
The Minister for Transport and the RSA’s position is in stark contrast to the Minister for Justice’s Alan Shatter’s assertion that the “very comprehensive investigation” conducted by the Assistant Commissioner would “reassure the public” and that any allegations concerning the Force would always be “fully and properly investigated”.
Minister Varadkar’s statement this morning served to undermine the Minister for Justice’s position and give even greater weight to Clare and her colleague’s argument for a wholly independent investigation into the penalty point’s affair. Clare noted this by saying, “Minister Shatter’s failure to convince even some of his own cabinet colleagues to completely accept the findings clearly suggests the inadequacies of these reports. My only wish is that Minister Varadkar had been quicker to air these views and put pressure on the Minister for Justice before the reports were commissioned, especially given that Minister Varadkar possessed much of the relevant information for some time.”
Given Minister Varadkar’s comments today it seems that the issue of penalty point terminations is not going away. Clare agreed with this sentiment, “As long as these reports leave so many questions unanswered and undermine the public’s perception of independence and impartiality in such investigations, my colleagues and I will be happy to re-echo calls for a completely independent inquiry into the Penalty Points issue and keep the issue on the table”.