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Barry Cowen says he did not evade Garda checkpoint

He was responding to reports following the apparent disclosure of information by a member of the An Garda Siochana.

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Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has said he did not evade a garda (Niall Carson/PA)

Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has said he did not evade a garda (Niall Carson/PA)

Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has said he did not evade a garda (Niall Carson/PA)

Agriculture minister Barry Cowen has said he did not evade or attempt to evade a Garda on the night he was found to be drink-driving in September 2016.

He made the statement in response to a report following the apparent disclosure of information by a member of the An Garda Siochana.

The Garda Commissioner has referred the matter to the Ombudsman.

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Barry Cowen said he was not charged with evading a Garda checkpoint (Brian Lawless/PA)

Barry Cowen said he was not charged with evading a Garda checkpoint (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Barry Cowen said he was not charged with evading a Garda checkpoint (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Cowen said: “I did not evade, or attempt to evade, a Garda. Such an act would constitute a serious criminal offence and I was not charged with such an offence.”

Last week it emerged that Mr Cowen served a three-month driving ban after being found by gardai to be drink-driving after attending the All-Ireland football final.

Mr Cowen apologised in the Dail on Tuesday night for a “grave” error of judgment following his 2016 drink-driving conviction.

He said his subsequent “humiliation” will hopefully serve to highlight the “terrible dangers and consequences” of such offending.

PA