Updated: 07/09/17 : 04:49:13
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Sligo/Leitrim breath tests, computer data crux

THERE WAS a 76% variance between breath tests at roadblocks with the incidence logged in the police service's Pulse data system in the Sligo/Leitrim Garda Division.

Statistics were examined in all Garda Divisions across the State for eight years back to June 2009 and a detailed internal report was published yesterday , Wednesday.

It probed the background to massive discrepancies in stats unearthed earlier this year. 

Drink Test

The picture which emerged from yesterday's internal Garda report was bleaker than expected.

It confirmed one and a half million stats discrepancy between actual breath tests at roadblocks and figures then recorded in the Garda computer system.

Sligo/Leitrim had an increase in drink-drive roadblock tests in the period under study.....but showed a fall in computer stats.

Greatly Disturbed

Investigated, in effect, were what The Irish Times labelled ''the falsification of breath test figures and the wrongful conviction of 14,500 people for motoring offences.''

The report fingered three areas of fault: Systems failures, an inability to understand Garda policy along with governance and oversight failures.

Yesterday's report by Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan revealed discrepancies much greater than originally thought.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he is ''greatly disturbed'' by the findings.

Mr Flanagan outlined the issues at the first formal meeting of the Cabinet since the summer break, also held yesterday.

The comparison was between the 'Drager' device used to take breath test samples at road checkpoints and the stats recorded in Pulse.

The Assistant Commissioner's report yesterday contains both immense and intense levels of detail, much of it technical.

Other Factors

Half of the country's 28 Garda Divisions -- including Sligo/Leitrim -- showed a decline as between checkpoints and breath tests data. 

''In these Divisions, the overall number of checkpoints conducted between 2010 and 2026 increased, while the number of breath tests recorded on Pulse fell,'' noted yesterday's report.

Said Assistant Commissioner O'Sullivan: ''This indicates there are other factors at play in these Divisions which affect the overall trend.''

Overall, Tipperary had the highest variance at 385% followed by Kildare on 125%, a new study confirms.

Clare was the only Division in the Western Region with more than a 100% gap, at 105%.

The number of Gardai in the Sligo/Leitrim and Clare Divisions are almost similar.

Link: http://www.garda.ie/Controller.aspx?Page=21185