TWO of Clare most senior politicians have refused to clarify if they have ever had penalty points wiped from the driving record.

Fianna Fáil’s national vice president Timmy Dooley, and Fine Gael back-bencher Joe Carey, have both failed to answer questions put to them by The Clare People last week concerning penalty points being wiped from politician’s driving licenses.

Indeed, this is Deputy Dooley’s second time declining to answer questions regarding penalty points – having refused to answer similar questions last month.

Each of Clare’s four other Oireachtas members responded to queries with only one, Senator Tony Mulcahy (FG) admitting to contacting the Gardaí in relation to penalty points. The Shannon senator said he had made representations on behalf of others, but never on his own behalf.

“I’ve been in this business for 19 or 20 years and to the best of my knowledge I have never asked for penalty points to be wiped away. I have four penalty points at the moment, I think, and I certainly didn’t ask for them to be withdrawn,” he said.

“I have, in the past, asked that points be removed for other records and this was definitely done on at least one occasion. But this is something I would never do lightly, it was in exceptional circumstances. I think there needs to be some leeway, this is something that should never be done lightly but sometimes there are exceptional circumstances.”

East Clare Labour TD and solicitor Michael McNamara said he has never sought to have penalty points removed from his driving record and also his believes that the current constitutional provision does not prevent penalty points from being added to the driving licenses of TDs and senators.

Speaking on the subject Deputy Pat Breen (FG) said that he has never had any penalty points removed from his license and that politicians should be “treated the same as everyone else” in this regard.

Senator Martin Conway (FG) cannot hold a driving license because of a seeing disability but the North Clare senator did comment that “an abuse of any law by a public representative is not fair”.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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