Did The Editor Have His Points Quashed?

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gemma:talbot
callinanrea(From top: Protest at INM and journalist Gemma O’Doherty, Irish Independent report from April and Stephen Rae, group editor of the Independent titles)

You may recall a post concerning the recent dismissal from the Irish Independent of journalist Gemma O’Doherty.

The Senior Features writer and Travel Editor was usually in receipt of high praise from her editors.

But this changed after she discovered in April that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan was caught speeding while driving his private car, and his penalty points subsequently quashed.

Her then boss Rae reportedly called O’Doherty a ‘rogue reporter’ for calling to Callinan’s house to confirm details in the story.

Some weeks after the story appeared managing director Declan Carlyle informed O’Doherty that her job was gone.

It has since emerged that among a list of high-profile names who have had points quashed is a Stephen Rae, who was reportedly caught speeding in Belfield, Dublin on the morning of November 5, 2009, and whose two points were subsequently terminated by gardai with no reason given.

[We have contacted Stephen Rea to clarify if this was indeed him. He has not responded and we offer him a right of reply]

The cancellation of fixed charge notices,and subsequently penalty points – other than for fire brigade drivers, ambulance drivers, on-duty Gardaí or people driving a car under the direction of a Garda – is not provided for in Irish law.

Gardaí have been using an ‘ad-hoc’ policy of discretion in relation to terminating penalty points which has no statutory basis.

Meanwhile, separately, O’Doherty was also investigating examples of summonses not being served on high-profile people from political, media, sports and legal circles when she got fired.

On May 9, she wrote how three summonses for three different motoring offences were not served on Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy.

And she was compiling a story in relation to the case of summonses not being served against two high-profile people in legal circles when she was dismissed by INM.

(Photocall Ireland)