Cork Sinn Féin TD says he was on learner licence when caught drink-driving

Cork East TD Pat Buckley received a three-year ban for the offence which he has apologised for in the past.
By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

Additional reporting by Digital Desk

A Sinn Féin TD has revealed he was on a learner's licence when he was caught drink-driving in 2013.

Cork East TD Pat Buckley received a three-year ban for the offence which was reported in the Irish Examiner.

It comes amid the controversy over Minister Barry Cowen's drink-driving ban while also on a learner's licence.

Mr Buckley apologised for the incident at the time saying: "I am disgusted with myself.

"It is something I've never done before. It's not my form and it was never in my character.

I'm so ashamed of it now.

Mr Buckley said he had a “few bottles of beer”, followed by something to eat, followed by a few more beers, during the course of christening celebrations at a private house party.

Despite having consumed alcohol, he decided to drive the kilometre or so home in the early hours of the morning.

He was pulled over and stopped by gardaí on patrol in a Garda car on the town’s Mill Road at around 4am and was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

Mr Buckley said that it was something he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin O'Broin says no politician from any party is above the law.

"It is not acceptable to drink and drive and politicians of all people should lead by example "In Pat's case, he held his hands up, he was found guilty and he had a three-year ban.

"He has never returned to driving since."

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