Alan Shatter had own reasons for resigning, says Taoiseach

Remarks come in wake of O’Higgins report into Garda malpractice made by whistleblower

Sgt Maurice McCabe former minister for justice Alan Shatter and fomer Garda commissioner Martin Callinan

Sgt Maurice McCabe former minister for justice Alan Shatter and fomer Garda commissioner Martin Callinan

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that former minister for justice Alan Shatter had his own reasons for resigning despite Mr Shatter’s previous insistence that Mr Kenny “encouraged” him to do so.

Mr Kenny was speaking in Dublin this evening following the publication of the O’Higgins report, which investigated claims of Garda malpractice made by whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Mr Shatter, former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan and the Department of Justice handled complaints made by Mr McCabe in a professional and appropriate manner “at all times”, the report says.

Mr Shatter resigned following the release the Guerin report, which was essentially a scoping exercise for the commission of investigation that produced the O’Higgins report.

The Guerin report said Mr Shatter did not heed Sgt McCabe’s complaints, which Mr Shatter feels damaged his reputation.

The former Dublin South deputy released a statement on Wednesday in which he called on Mr Kenny to correct the Dáil record.

“The Guerin report was laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas, its flawed conclusions and opinions were accepted in full by the government and the Taoiseach put on the Dáil record its adverse conclusions concerning my conduct as minister for justice,” he said. “If the Government, as it must, accepts the O’Higgins Commission findings in full, the Taoiseach now has a duty to correct the Dail record.

“The Government also has a duty to ensure the now discredited adverse conclusions and opinions contained in the Guerin report are acknowledged to be in error and corrected and that the report is withdrawn from circulation in its present form. These are important issues of relevance to standards in public life, fair procedures and the importance of truth in politics. I will be writing to the Taoiseach on issues of relevance and importance following on from publication of the O’Higgins report and seeking a substantive response.”

Amending record

Mr Kenny was asked if he will correct the record as requested by Mr Shatter but claimed he was unable to comment on the Guerin report because of a case before the Court of Appeal.

“Obviously there is a case before the court of appeal at the moment which doesn’t allow me comment on the Guerin report until that court makes its judgment but for the reason I have stated I am happy that Alan has had his work as a minister confirmed by the O’Higgins report.”

He also claimed Mr Shatter set out the own reasons for his resignation as minister when he stepped down in spring 2014.

“Insofar as Alan was concerned, he set out his reasons for his resignation by letter himself, which was published,” said Mr Kenny.

“He set out the reasons for his resignation in a very clear, comprehensive letter both to me and to others, which was made public.

“I haven’t read that report yet, obviously it is 300 pages. But I am glad that report confirms that the former minister did his work well and it makes that fairly clear.”