Why can’t Enda Kenny, Alan Shatter, Martin Callinan, Brian Purcell and any other person appointed to or holding public office appear before a Dáil committee to answer in public reasonable questions put by the people’s elected representatives on matters of public interest in connection with how they discharged their duties?
It is ludicrous for Enda Kenny to refuse to answer a question where he has a specific and definite involvement because he has appointed a judge to ask him that question at some time in the future. – Yours, etc,
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he received information about the gardaí using their discretion regarding an incident involving Independent TD Mick Wallace in the course of a briefing from the force.
The minister said he felt obliged to make the information public because Mr Wallace was adamant that gardaí should not use discretion.
Independent TD Mick Wallace, above, spoke to Pat Kenny earlier this morning about claims made by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that Mr Wallace had been on his mobile phone when he was stopped and advised by Gardaí that he could receive a fixed ticket charge and penalty points, before being warned not to do it again.
Mr Wallace told Mr Kenny he was shocked and thrown by the claims.
He said he genuinely couldn’t recall the incident and even thought Mr Shatter had made it up.
He said he then got a text from a journalist on Saturday, in which he was asked:
“Were you stopped and warned at the Five Lamps on the North Circular Road?”
He told Pat he then did eventually recall an incident involving the Gardai but he was neither stopped nor warned:
Mick Wallace: “I was parked at the lights and a Garda vehicle came up beside me. And I was on the phone…which I know, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been on it. The guard..I rolled down the window, the guard rolled down his window. There was two guards there. And I said ‘oh’, I just had my hand up and they said ‘it’s OK’. And, left it at that. And we just, we made small talk after for maybe about 15/20 seconds and the lights went green and I drove on straight and they pulled out. The guards were friendly.”
Pat Kenny: “And did you apologise to them at the time, when you rolled down the windows ‘sorry, guard, I’m on the phone here.”
Wallace: “Yes, I would have done, I stopped being on the phone and I said ‘look, sorry guard’. And they said ‘it’s OK’. And we went on to talk about something else.”
Alan Shatter is to speak – possibly creepily – about all of this at midday.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace were on Prime Time tonight to talk about the penalty points report and the appearance of Commissioner Martin Callinan at a Public Accounts Committee meeting earlier today.
During the chat, Mr Shatter accused Mr Wallace of having been stopped by the gardaí last May.
He said – with the authority of someone who may have actually seen a file on the subject – that Mr Wallace was on his phone while driving.
The rot is very strong in this one.
Alan Shatter: “As Deputy Wallace knows, even without…in issuing tickets, the Gardaí exercised discretion. Deputy Wallace himself was stopped with a mobile, on a mobile phone last May, by members of An Garda Síochána and he was advised by the guard who stopped him that a fixed ticket charge could issue and you would be, he could be given penalty points. But the garda apparently, as I’m advised…”
Pat Kenny: “Used his discretion.”
Shatter: “Used his discretion and warned him and told him not to do it again.”
Pat Kenny: “Mick? Mick? The guard used his discretion?”
Wallace: “I tell you what, first of all that’s news to me. Secondly, right, with regard to discretion…”
Kenny: “You don’t recall that incident?”
Wallace: “I don’t know. Listen with regard to discretion. It’s all very well to say they’re using discretions here and there but in actual fact, once the, the rule is once it goes on the system, they should go to court to deal with it. Now listen..”
Kenny: “By the way, are you not concerned that the minister should know about your private business dealing with the Gardaí?”
Wallace: “I’m not, I’m not remotely worried about what the minister knows.”