Kenny: I will not ask Shatter to resign

Shatter ‘most reforming Minister for Justice in the past 50 years’

Leader's Questions this afternoon was dominated by the shock resignation of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan this morning. Taoiseach Enda Kenny defended Minister Alan Shatter's part in the ongoing controversy.

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 17:29

The Taoiseach has said he will not ask Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to resign.

Enda Kenny said in the Dáil this afternoon that Mr Shatter had proven to be probably the most reforming Minister for Justice in the past 50 years.

Asked if he would tell Mr Shatter to resign over the crisis, he replied: “No.” He added: “The Minister for Justice on behalf of the Government will continue to reform the justice system, will work now to introduce an independent statutory authority for An Garda Siochana that will bring our system into the modern era.”

“And so many issues of societal consequence that have been left lying around have been, and are, and will be, dealt by him as Minister for Justice,’’ he added.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams both todat called for the Minister to resign.

Mr Kenny said Mr Shatter would address the House on the issue on Thursday during a debate on the Garda inspectorate’s report on penalty points. The Minister would take Opposition questions then, he added.

Mr Martin said the Minister had consistently, and with persistence, sought to undermine the status of the Garda whistleblowers in the context of the penalty points’ saga. The Minister had falsely said that they had not co-operated with the Garda’s internal inquiry, the O’Mahoney inquiry, into the issue.

“He should apologise, Taoiseach, to the whistleblowers,” Mr Martin added.

Mr Adams said the Minister should go, having undermined GSOC, discredited the Garda whistleblowers and protected the Garda Commissioner at every turn.

“Arguably none of this would have come to light unless these two brave officers had highlighted the lawbreaking as they saw it,” he added.