Pressure mounts on Flanagan over points
on 14/03/2013 00:00:00
The TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim had claimed a Garda sergeant and a county council official were involved in having the points he incurred wiped.
Mr Flanagan yesterday admitted that his actions were "corrupt" and apologised to his supporters and voters.
"I have let people down. There's no denying that. And for that, and to the people of Ireland, I am sorry that I have let them down."
Mr Flanagan faces even more questions about his role in the points being expunged, including on what business he had in the Dáil on Jun 3, 2011, the date he received the first set of points. He said the garda told him he was "covered" under Dáil privilege.
However, the Dáil was not sitting that Friday.
Questions also remain about the contents of a letter he sent to gardaí seeking the cancellation of his points.
Mr Flanagan said a "senior county council official" helped cancel another set of points for the same offence in Dec 2011 and told him he had "sorted out" the points with a garda.
But Mr Flanagan's version of this event was strongly rejected by Roscommon county manager Frank Dawson yesterday.
Mr Dawson said he assumed he was the official the TD was referring to. "I utterly reject his allegations that I sorted out his penalty points issue for him. I will take all necessary steps to protect my good name and reputation."
Mr Dawson he had forwarded his version of events to senior gardaí, who are finishing an investigation into the wiping of penalty points across the country. Mr Flanagan helped front a campaign in recent months to expose the practice.
Fellow Independent TDs rounded on him. Shane Ross said his actions were "political insanity" and damaging to all politicians. Finian McGrath said: "It is wrong and Ming was completely wrong on this matter."
Mick Wallace also said Mr Flanagan should have taken the penalty points.
Clare Daly admitted Mr Flanagan had failed to inform others during their campaign on penalty points that his own points were quashed. "He didn't. I think we're all sorry that he didn't."
Some Roscommon constituents also said he should step down.