C&AG's report vindicates Sinn Féin's concerns on penalty points terminations and the issuing of court summons by Gardaí - Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has said that the latest report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) vindicates Sinn Féin's ongoing publicly aired concerns on the termination of Fixed Charged Notices by senior members of An Garda Síochána and the large percentage of court summons issued that have not served by gardaí.
The C&AG's report reveals that half of all court summons issued for unpaid Fixed Charged Notices were not served by gardaí and that around one in five drivers are getting away with road traffic offences due to procedural failures.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
"Last week, I revealed that figures from the Court Service had been brought to my attention, confirming that over 38% of garda summons issued by the courts from January 2009 to December 2012 had not been served.
"Out of a total of 1, 688,349 Garda Summons issued, 646,509 were not served. I have since written to the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter and also sent a parliamentary question seeking urgent clarification.
"The findings in the C&AG's report that half of all court summons issued for unpaid Fixed Charged Notices were not served by gardaí are consistent with the Court Service data I have brought into the public domain. The system in place is not working. It has been clearly open to abuse and has cost the tax payer, millions of euro in unpaid fines."
"The focus in the report on the termination of Fixed Charged Notices is also very welcome. Last year, two Garda whistle blowers brought this matter into the public domain after having their concerns and questions raised internally within An Garda Síochána, essentially stone walled. The attempts to discredit these courageous whistle blowers have been once again laid bare by this report and the list of questions for the Garda Commissioner and Minister Alan Shatter grow longer every day.
"Sinn Féin will continue to shine a light on all of this until we are assured that the lessons are learned and public confidence is restored."