Shatter says former taoisigh should pay for their own security

Minister for Justice responds following alleged assault on Bertie Ahern in Dublin pub

Bertie Ahern was allegedly assaulted by a man wielding a crutch in a Dublin pub. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Bertie Ahern was allegedly assaulted by a man wielding a crutch in a Dublin pub. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 14:56

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has claimed former taoisigh such as Bertie Ahern earn enough money from the State to pay for their own security.

Following revelations that Mr Ahern had been attacked a number of times - including an alleged assault in a Dublin pub, the Minister ruled out any review by the Government for providing protection to former politicians.

“There are some former taoisigh who are receiving very substantial sums of money from the State who, I would think should they need an independent driver or some additional security, are in a position to arrange that themselves,” Mr Shatter said.

He said he relied on advice from gardaí as to what security measures were required by former taoisigh.

Mr Ahern, who receives a State pension of about €135,000, was allegedly attacked by a man wielding a crutch in a city centre pub on Friday.

Mr Shatter pointed out that the Government made a decision when it was fresh in office to limit the number of Garda cars used in politics.

“It was determined that it wasn’t necessary that former taoisigh be driven by members of An Garda Síochána, ” he said.

“There are only three ministers, three members of Cabinet who for security reasons are provided with Garda cars with drivers - that’s the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and myself as Minister for Justice for security reasons.”

PA