Thursday, 10 January 2013

Garda on RSA board had penalty points removed

Here's an extract from an article in last weekend's Sunday Independent, by Philip Ryan, describing how Garda Eddie Rock, former head of the Traffic Corps and now sitting on the board of the Road Safety Authority, had three sets of penalty points quashed.  

The fixed notices were issued for breaking a red light, speeding, and parking in a clearway.

"A FORMER garda assistant commissioner who sits on the board of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) was forced to explain to its chairman Gay Byrne why he had had three penalty points terminated.

Eddie Rock, who was head of the Garda Traffic Corps before becoming an RSA board member in 2011, was named in a whistleblower's dossier which alleges that thousands of penalty points were written off illegally.

The report, compiled by a serving member of the force, questions the legitimacy of more than 50,000 penalty-point terminations over a three-year period.

The document alleges that points were cancelled for two judges and for one of their wives. Points were also, it is claimed, cancelled for an international rugby star and two journalists – a newspaper reporter and a television broadcaster.

It also alleges that gardai struck off points for their own families and that in one instance a member of the force terminated more than 1,000 penalty points in several counties across the country.

Current Garda Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney has been asked to investigate the allegations and will report to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

In October, the report was sent to the RSA chief executive, Noel Brett, who brought it to the attention of the authority's board and its chairman, Mr Byrne.

The dossier alleged that Mr Rock, who is also a member of the Justice Department's Parole Board, had received two fixed-notice charges but later had them cancelled by gardai.

When the board approached Mr Rock, he revealed that in fact he had had three sets of penalty points overturned – but he said that he had followed the correct procedures for contesting the points in each case..."

"Correct procedures"?  What might they be, then?  Knowing the "correct procedures" might be useful should I pick up a few points myself, possibly thanks to gardai sitting in "safety vans" on stretches of road with improbably low speed limits (see pic above, used in an earlier blog).  

  Let's see now...

"...Mr Rock told his RSA colleagues, including former Late Late Show host Mr Byrne, that he appealed the charges as a private citizen by writing to the inspector who had issued the fixed-notice charges.

A source said that the board was satisfied with Mr Rock's explanations for the cancellation of the points but was awaiting the outcome of Mr O'Mahoney's report.

The source said, "The system seems to have been used properly and the time between the points seems to be significant."

So there you go then.  You just have to write to the Garda inspector who issued the charges, saying you would like to have the points removed from - or simply not applied to - your licence.

It might help your case if you are a garda (the higher-ranking the better, or on the board of the RSA even better still).  It might help your case  if one of your cronies is a copper, or you are the family of one.  It might also help your case if you are a judge, in which circumstance you can avoid the very sanctions you dish out to others as you righteously sit in your courtroom. 

It's easy to have faith in the system when you know how fair it is.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page


Ella said...

Hi GM, sickening this is, I wonder does "this kind of thing" go on in other countries?

The judge getting off points - so when a copper appears in her court with a defendant, her position is compromised and she will find again the defendant. A cosy system indeed. Corrupt and rotten and nobody seems bothered at all by it.

The Gombeen Man said...

"Ye scratch my back, and I'll scratch yeers" seems to be the way it works, Ella. Rank hypocricy... doing people while immune to sanction themselves.

DC3 said...

Quelle surprise?