Finance Minister Barry Cowen said he had avoided and tried to avoid a guard on the night he was caught driving while under the influence of drinking in September 2016.

Minister Cowen released his statement, in response to an article in the Sunday Times newspaper.

He said the newspaper article related to an inaccurate night guard record, despite Mr Cowen’s solicitors having written to the newspaper to inform them of this inaccuracy.

Minister Cowen called the incident a ‘sarcastic error’

‘I avoided and did not try to evade any guard’ said Barry Cowen.

‘It would be a serious crime,’ said the Minister.

Barry Cowen was sentenced to penalties after being examined at a checkpoint that night in September 2016, returning home from Dublin to Co. Offaly.

These included the removal of the road for 3 months.

Minister Cowen called the incident a ‘sarcastic error’ and apologized in the Dáil last week.

However, he said he was looking for a copy of the inaccurate Garda record, so he could correct it.

He also said the gardaí had begun a criminal investigation into who was responsible for leaking information about the incident.