Clare Daly interviewed by David McCullagh On RTE earlier.
It was sobering.
Clare Daly: “The results taken prove conclusively that I was significantly below the legal alcohol limit. As I said, I had a meeting had a house, I had taken a hot whiskey for a cold and the results of that test will show I was no way near the legal limit.”
David McCullagh: “You must be delighted.”
Daly: “No, in many ways I think the whole incident has saddened me greatly. The release of that information was a deliberate attempt, in my opinion, by sections of An Garda Síochána to discredit me because of a campaign that we’ve been working on to highlight corruption amongst elements of senior gardaí in relation to writing off of penalty points. This is an incredibly serious matter. It’s one which the Garda Ombudsman is now investigating as part of a criminal investigation and we await the outcome of that.”
McCullagh: “They’re investigating the leaked information about you?”
Daly: “That’s right. We made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman. It’s almost unprecedented that within almost 12 hours of my arrest, the tabloid newspapers had the story, had details which could have only come from garda sources. This is actually a criminal matter for the gardai to engage in such behaviour. And I want it investigated to the full.”
McCullagh: “In fairness to the tabloid media, it wasn’t the tabloid media that first put the story to you, it was actually RTE.”
Daly: “It was but we have information that shows quite clearly that it was tabloid newspapers that had the story first. And in fairness many newspapers took great pleasure in displaying the story in a prominent position. Drink driving is an incredibly serious offence, which I think everybody would agree with and to have any implication that you might be engaged in that type of behaviour is incredibly damaging and I think it was portrayed as such and leaked as such in order to do me damage and I’m delighted that I’m able to show that I wasn’t guilty of anything and I hope now that they’ll act as prominently in putting the story out there now.”
McCullagh: “I suppose some people might say you’re in favour of whistle blowing. This was an instance of whistle blowing about someone in a public position who had, at least, an accusation made against them?”
Daly: “With no case to answer. I think every Irish citizen would believe in innocent until proven guilty. I think Irish people treat very highly our right to a good name and I think that’s valid for every citizen. In some ways you could argue that for public figures, it’s even more important. I think the release of this information wasn’t done with any idea of public good. I was stopped for taking a wrong turn. That’s what I was stopped for.”
Update: RTE has removed a portion of this interview from their playback on legal advice. We have done the same until we can get our
‘solicitor’ out of Doheny and Nesbitt’s own legal advice.
Previously: “Come Back When You’re Sober”