Gilmore says Shatter resignation ‘inevitable’

Tánaiste pays tribute to ‘outstanding record of accomplishment’

 Alan Shatter and Eamon Gilmore  during the annual 1916 Commemoration Ceremony in Arbour Hill, Dublin earlier. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Alan Shatter and Eamon Gilmore during the annual 1916 Commemoration Ceremony in Arbour Hill, Dublin earlier. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Wed, May 7, 2014, 20:41

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said the resignation of Alan Shatter was “in the circumstances, inevitable”, but paid tribute to the outgoing Minister for Justice.

In a statement he expressed his appreciation to Mr Shatter for his “outstanding record of accomplishment”.

“While I believe that the Minister’s decision to resign was, in the circumstances, inevitable I want to pay tribute to Alan Shatter for his work in the Departments of Justice and Defence,” Mr Gilmore said.

“Alan Shatter is a talented legal thinker who worked incredibly hard on his reform agenda. He has had many accomplishments during his time in office, including reform of the legal profession, modernisation of the Courts, landmark personal insolvency legislation and modernisation and reform of the prison service.

“He was Minister for Justice in difficult economic times and he has a record of which he should be proud. I wish him every success in the future”.

Green Party leader and MEP candidate for Dublin, Eamon Ryan, said: “I welcome this long overdue announcement. Alan Shatter’s breach of data protection rules had made his position untenable, and the subsequent controversies in the Garda and Department of Justice meant his position was further undermined.

The Council for Civil Liberties said it regretted the resignation of Mr Shatter.

“However critical and controversial the findings of the Guerin review may be, the ICCL very much regrets that it has become necessary for a Minister as distinguished as Alan Shatter to resign in these circumstances,” the organisation’s director Mark Kelly said in a statement.

“He brought to his position a genuine and deeply-knowledgeable understanding of the legal reforms needed to render Ireland a more equal society and was wholeheartedly committed to seeing the necessary legislation adopted.”

The organisation also reiterated its calls for “a full and comprehensive inquiry” to be initiated under the terms of the Commissions of Investigation Act into Garda-related controversies .