Clare Daly: I've been cleared of drink-driving
Independent TD Clare Daly has said test results of a recent urine sample provided to gardaí show a result of 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine, which she says is 33% below the allowable limit of 67 milligrammes
The United Left Alliance member was arrested after taking an illegal turn while driving in Dublin on January 29.
She admitted drinking a hot whiskey and was breathalysed before being taken to Kilmainham Garda Station for further tests.
In a statement, Deputy Daly said the results had revealed she was not over the limit and she has accused the gardaí of "malpractice".
She also says the matter has been referred to the Office of the Garda Ombudsman.
Her full statement read:
"On Monday night 28th January, after meetings in the Dail, I attended a meeting in Swords and left at 9.30pm for another meeting requested by a family on the Southside of the city near the Canal. I arrived after 10pm and spent almost two hours discussing issues which I had raised in the Dail. Before I left I was offered a hot whiskey for a cold.
"I left at midnight and not being familiar with the area found myself on the road to Ballyfermot at Kilmainham and took a right turn onto the South Circular Road trying to get back onto the North side - unfortunately there is No Right Turn at this junction and this was brought to my attention by Gardai in a car who stopped me.
"I was breathalysed but the equipment didn’t register a reading. I was arrested and handcuffed on the side of the road. I objected to being handcuffed and stated that I would willingly go to the Garda station. I was told by the arresting Garda that this was ‘procedure’.
"I was brought in a patrol car to the Kilmainham Garda Station – within 300 metres distance. At one point I was placed in a cell on my own. A doctor was called and I provided a urine sample. When I was released a female Garda told me to ‘come back when you are sober’.
"I believe that the Gardai implementing road safety have a job to do and I support them. However, I object strongly to the arrest, handcuffing and release of information re the arrest on suspicion of drink driving to the tabloid press early on Tuesday. My legal advice is that none of this is ‘procedure’
"I believe that this was a deliberate attempt to discredit a left-wing TD who has raised issues of malpractice within the Garda Siochana. This information could only have come from within the Gardai.
"The Garda Ombudsman is investigating this matter, as a criminal investigation under Section 98 of the Garda Soichana Act 2005. This is a very serious issue. Every citizen is entitled to their good name and to have their privacy respected.
"Garda whistle blowers who have quite correctly approached the designated Confidential Recipient and elected TDs, as they are lawfully entitled to do, have been threatened that they will be fully investigated in accordance with the Garda Siochana (Discipline) Regulations 2007 for speaking to a third party.
"I now expect that the same enthusiasm will be taken in relation to those who have sought to damage me.
"I have received the official result of the test on the urine sample provided and the result is 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine, which is 33% below the allowable limit - 67 milligrammes."