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TD cleared of drink-driving considers Garda complaint

Published 09/02/2013




Brian Hutton

INDEPENDENT TD Clare Daly is considering making a second complaint to the Garda watchdog about her arrest on suspicion of drink-driving.

The former Socialist Party politician has been cleared of any wrongdoing after a urine test came back showing she was significantly under the legal alcohol limit at the time.

She has already asked the Garda Ombudsman to investigate her claims that gardai leaked details of her detention in a deliberate attempt to discredit her after she raised issues of malpractice within the force.

However, the Dublin North representative said she is in talks with her solicitor about the possibility of making a further complaint about her treatment during the arrest and detention in Dublin's south inner city on January 28.

"We haven't decided yet but it's a possibility," she said.

Ms Daly, who admitted she drank a hot whiskey before driving her car on the night she was arrested, alleges she was handcuffed, put in a cell on her own for a time and told by one officer to come back when she was sober.

She was stopped and arrested by gar dai after making an illegal right turn on to the South Circular Road on her way home from a meeting.

Ms Daly later said she had accepted a hot whiskey for a cold after a two-hour meeting with a family, and, unfamiliar with the area, made the wrong turn.

"I was breathalysed but the equipment didn't register a reading," Ms Daly said.

"I was arrested and handcuffed on the side of the road. I objected to being handcuffed and stated that I would will-ingly go to the Garda station. I was told by the arresting Garda that this was 'procedure'."

Ms Daly said she was then taken to Kilmainham Garda Station in a patrol car and placed in a cell on her own at one point. She was released after giving a urine sample.

The TD said the official result of the sample was 45 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 67 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

"I believe that the gardai implementing road safety have a job to do and I support them," she said.

"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'."

Ms Daly was one of a small number of TDs who late last year exposed allegations that gardai had wiped penalty points from the driving licences of several high-profile people.

"I believe that this was a deliberate attempt to discredit a left-wing TD who has raised issues of malpractice within the Garda Siochana," she said.

"This information could only have come from within the gardai."

The Garda Ombudsman has confirmed a complaint has been received in relation to the incident but a spokesman refused to make any further comment.