Martin Ferris arrested

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving at the weekend, the party has confirmed.

He was stopped at a random breath test checkpoint near his home in the village of Ardfert, north Kerry.

He was then taken to Tralee Garda Station to give a second sample which will be sent for analysis.

The north Kerry TD said in a statement released through the Sinn Féin press office that he does not believe he was over the limit.

It is the second time that Mr Ferris has been arrested just weeks before going to the polls.

In 2002 he was among a number of men taken into custody and questioned about the alleged abduction and assault of a suspected drug dealer in Castleislan.

At the time, Sinn Féin said the former IRA prisoner was the victim of a campaign of “political harassment”.

The arrest did not prevent Mr Ferris from topping the poll in the election and the case was later dropped by gardai.

Mr Ferris, who in the past has had a tense relationship with the gardai police, commended officers for doing their duty at the weekend, adding that if he were proven to be over the limit then he would apologise to the people of Kerry.

The widely-respected republican described drinking and driving as “unacceptable and indefensible”.

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