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Gardai continued to axe penalty points - report

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Noirin O'Sullivan

Noirin O'Sullivan

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Noirin O'Sullivan

Gardai were still quashing penalty points even after an internal audit was set up to examine the controversial practice.

It has emerged that gardai were continuing to terminate driving offence records on behalf of colleagues, after the interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan set up an internal audit into the cancellation of penalty points in September.

The terminations were discovered by the special taskforce which was set up by the interim commissioner on foot of allegations by the whistleblower Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The special taskforce within the force's Professional Standards Unit (PSU) monitored certain pulse entries relating to a number of gardai to track how their cases for speeding and other alleged road offences were progressing.

Cancellations

The gardai who had points terminated had a history of previous penalty point cancellations over recent years in all cases, according to RTE's This Week programme.

But the programme reported it had surprised senior gardai that a small core of gardai continued to cancel points while the audit was being undertaken.

A significant number of cancelled points will be forwarded for further investigation.

The interim commissioner may then forward the details of suspected bogus cancellations to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

It is believed that the unit examining the issue also found significant discrepancies in the excuses provided by gardai who had speeding offences terminated while using their private vehicle as an "emergency vehicle."

Emergencies

The PSU found that in many of the cases, there was no corresponding record on the force's Pulse system to indicate what the "emergency" was that they had been attending.

It is believed the audit team looked at a total of 600 sample cases of quashed points. A report is due to be finalised soon.

fdillon@herald.ie


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