“Well We Now Know, 14,700 People Were Telling The Truth”




RTÉ reporter Paddy O’Gorman

Further to the announcement yesterday that 14,700 people have been wrongly convicted of motoring offences by the courts…

Paddy O’Gorman spoke to Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One this morning

Sean O’Rourke: “Paddy O’Gorman is with me, Paddy you were at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin yesterday but, before we talk about that, this is a reoccurring theme in your reports about summonses not being received.”

Paddy O’Gorman: “All those people who come in, week after week, saying ‘I never received, not the summons, but I never received my fixed penalty notice, the first thing I knew about it was the summons’. Well we now know, 14,700 have been telling the truth. And it’s been, now, no doubt, people with a brass neck will lie and perjure themselves even.”

“But it happened on Wednesday there, in Athlone. There was just one case. She was a woman, about mid-30s, she got up on the witness stand. The judge swore her in and said, she said, ‘I never received my fixed penalty notice’. And he went through that with her: about her post, how she usually gets it, and then he convicted her. And she was upset outside and she said to me: ‘why did he make me swear?’. And I explained to her, because she’d never been in a court before, I said that’s quite routine to make you swear. And what the judge has done, is he’s put in a presumption that you received the fixed penalty notice. Different judges…”

Talk over each other

O’Gorman: “So it’s nothing personal. No she was treated respectfully but I’ve watched it in courts, inspectors using sarcasm against people ‘oh do you get most of your post?’ and reducing people to tears at times even. And it turns out they were telling the truth. And like that woman, she was upset coming out of the courts…”

O’Rourke: “Cause we’ve often joked: you and I about the poor quality of the postal service when it comes to delivering these fixed penalty points…”

O’Gorman: “That’s right. And it was never sent and people find it highly stressful to be standing up in a courtroom and to be told, publicly, you’re a liar and a perjurer. That’s a very nasty thing to happen to somebody and I hope those people, it gets made up to them.”


RTE reports:

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South Jim O’Callaghan said that Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan should take the lead in how this matter is being explained.

He said it is unacceptable that people were convicted in the courts for road traffic offences due to “a garda error” and that people need to know how this happened and who is responsible.

It also emerged that gardaí recorded 937,000 more roadside alcohol tests than had actually been carried out in a five-year period to 2016 – almost twice the real figure.

Call for Commissioner to explain massive garda errors (RTE)

Related: Almost 15,000 motorists wrongly convicted (Conor Lally, Irish Times)


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18 thoughts on ““Well We Now Know, 14,700 People Were Telling The Truth”

  1. Clampers Outside!

    I guess, all points notifications, etc. will have to be sent via registered post from now on.

    A self respecting judge can’t not accept a persons plea of not receiving the post now, surely….. I’d hope.

    1. The Old Boy

      There is a small but dedicated band of people who will not sign for an unsolicited registered letter, on the assumption that it’s bad news and that it may be used in evidence against them.

        1. ivan

          his point being that sending fixed penalty notices by Registered Post will only work in certain cases. If you’re the *kind* of person who honest-to-god didn’t get the fixed penalty notice and would be willing to swear up to this, then Regd post solves the problem.

          if you’re the kind of person who *cough-bulls&£t-cough* didn’t get the fixed penalty notice, then you might be the kind of person who won’t sign for the registered post letter either, and I’m not sure what remedy there is to serve it. Personal service could be effected by the Gardai but that *might* be a waste of resources for the sake of an 80 quid fine.

  2. Daddy

    Is this Paddy O’Gorman who hangs around outside courts looking for Travellers to interview for the amusement of O’Rourke’s listeners?

    I can’t stand that guy.

    1. ahjayzis

      He’s vile. Every slot is like Sean being shown around the poor people zoo by keeper Paddy.

  3. Starina

    O’Sullivan’s probably just relieved they’re asking her something other than “when are you resigning”

  4. Sheik Yahbouti

    Do not despair folks, our own Tanaiste and Minister for Justice (Flathead Frannie) is on this big time – in order to boost her prospects in the Leadership race to come. All will be probity, equity and justice – for the next few months at least.

  5. ahjayzis

    We can now add fraudulently convicting over ten thousand citizens of crimes they didn’t commit to the list of things that WON’T put your job in Garda management at risk.

    The police force is not fit for purpose, endemically corrupt, systemically inept but we all totally have full confidence in the people running it.


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