Garda Inspectorate to publish penalty points report

A report into the penalty points system is to be published by the Garda Inspectorate later today.

It is expected to recommend overhauling the system so that local gardaí will lose the power to remove points from someone's license.

Justice Minsiter Alan Shatter has received the report into the alleged abuse of the penalty points scheme, which he will bring to Cabinet before publication later.

In a statement yesterday evening the Minister said there should be "no question mark hanging over the integrity" of the penalty points scheme and no one should get preferential treatment because of their perceived status or celebrity.

The Garda Inspectorate was asked to examine the scheme last May, after an internal report by the Assistant Garda Commissioner.

The report is separate to the investigation being carried out by the Garda Ombudsman, following complaints by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Fianna Fáil are calling on the minister to heed the recommendations of the report and have also criticised the leaking of the document, after media reports that the Inspectorate is highly critical of the way the system is operated.

"We have to allow an opportunity to see what the recommendations are and to see will they be put into proper effect," said the party's justice spokesperson Niall Collins.

"But I think it was quite a worrying statement that the chief of the Garda Inspectorate Bob Olsen hasn't met the justice minister of the day - at all, ever."

Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore insisted that the Government will follow through with the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate, and said Minister Shatter is committed to seeing the findings implemented.

"My understanding is that Minster Shatter will be recommending to Government that we proceed with the implementation of those recommendations," Mr Gilmore said.

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