Shatter rejects Opposition motion of no confidence

Minister says focus on when he received Callinan letter on Garda tapes ’extraordinary’

‘I do not have a monopoly of wisdom; none of us have a monopoly of wisdom,’ Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil this evening. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

‘I do not have a monopoly of wisdom; none of us have a monopoly of wisdom,’ Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dáil this evening. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 21:08

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has described as “extraordinary’’ that the main focus of attention in the Garda tapes controversy was that department officials failed to give him a letter from former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

“What purpose would there be, if I had received it any earlier, in concealing that fact ?,’’ he added. “What purpose would there be to do nothing about it ?’’

He asked if anybody in the House wished another area of difficulty to arise relating to An Garda Siochana. Mr Shatter accused the Opposition of creating a distraction from the reality that this was a problem created very many years ago.

Responding in the Dail tonight to the Opposition’s motion of no confidence in him, Mr Shatter said that like everybody else in the House he did not get everything right. “It is extraordinary how people think that no one ever can make a mistake and no one ever can be forgiven for making a mistake,’’ he added.

“I do not have a monopoly of wisdom; none of us have a monopoly of wisdom,’’ he added.

Mr Shatter said he would continue to do the best job he could as Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence.

He was constantly accused, in a very personalised way, of a variety of different failures, he said. “None of us are perfect; but if I respond in kind to the manner in which I am treated, I am labelled as arrogant and as overbearing,’’ he added.

He said that listening to members of the Opposition, “you would think I was public enemy number one’’.

Mr Shatter said issues now being considered, relating to what went on within the Garda Siochana, had occurred during the lifetime of the previous government.