THE Henry Street garda district had a higher than average rate for the cancellation of fixed charge notices issued to motorists for driving offences during 2011 and 2012, a report by the government spending watchdog has found.
The Comptroller and Auditor General found 1,146 such notices had been terminated at Henry Street over the two years, a rate of 3.9% compared to a 2.2% national average in Garda districts.
Seamus McCarthy’s report found that nationally around one in 20 of all fixed charge notices issued over the period had been cancelled. Over half of these were cancelled at a central office in Thurles or through the Garda Juvenile Diversion programme, leaving the average termination rate among garda districts at 2.2%.
While this was exceeded in Henry Street, the Askeaton district had one of the five lowest cancellation rates in the country - at just 0.3%.
Drivers who appealed to the Ennis garda district, by contrast, had a 5.9% chance of having their fixed penalty notice cancelled by a senior officer - the highest rate in the country.
A sample of cancelled notices examined by Mr Murphy found the reasons why penalty points were wiped included a motorist who was late for mass and another who said bees were attacking his livestock.
Mr Murphy found that roughly two thirds of motorists issued with notices paid the fine.
Difficulties serving summonses, vehicles registered to companies and notices undelivered by An Post were among the reasons others did not pay.