Kenny insists Shatter made own decision to resign
Taoiseach says Shatter came to own conclusion after reading Guerin Report
Speaking to reporters in Portlaoise, the Taoiseach said: “That was the decision that Alan Shatter came to himself and that’s directly stated in his own letter, and [he stated] so to me.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted Alan Shatter alone made the decision to resign as Minister for Justice, and that he did not bring his position as Taoiseach to bear.
Mr Kenny said yesterday evening it was clear that Mr Shatter arrived at his own conclusion to step down after reading the report by senior counsel Seán Guerin on the manner in which the Garda and the Department of Justice, as well as Mr Shatter, had responded to the allegations made by whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
Speaking to reporters in Portlaoise, the Taoiseach said: “That was the decision that Alan Shatter came to himself and that’s directly stated in his own letter, and [he stated] so to me.”
When Mr Kenny was asked if he had influenced the decision, he said: “I have read all the comments and heard all the reports. You can be quite clear, Alan Shatter was very clear in that his resignation was his decision and his choice.”
Asked would he have insisted on Mr Shatter’s resignation had it not been offered, Mr Kenny responded that that was a different matter.
“When [Mr Shatter] read the report and went through the relevant sections he made his own choice.”
Asked did he agree with the Tánaiste’s comments that Mr Shatter had made the right decision, he said: “I think it’s in his own words, it was the right decision to make. We are moving on now.”
Mr Kenny was accompanied by the new Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan, making is first visit back to his home town as a senior Minister. He was accompanied by his wife Mary.
The Laois-Offaly TD is the fifth senior Minister from the constituency, all from Fine Gael. Three were O’Higgins and the fourth was his own father Oliver J Flanagan.
Mr Flanagan said it was a great honour to be appointed by the Taoiseach to serve at the highest level in Irish politics. Taking charge of a new department such as children was a “great challenge”.
“It is essential that we accord children their rightful place under our Constitution and in our laws,” he said.