The Government will announce a new Minister for Justice tomorrow morning following Alan Shatter’s resignation today.
Government chief whip Paul Kehoe told the Dáil Mr Shatter’s replacement will be announced after 10.45 am tomorrow.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny this evening told the Dáil that Mr Shatter stepped down as a result of the inquiry by Séan Guerin SC into allegations of Garda malpractice.
Mr Kenny said the 300-page Guerin report concludes there is a requirement for a comprehensive commission of investigation. The report “comes to conclusion that there was inadequate investigation and analysis” into allegations made by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
The Guerin report will be published on Friday, and the Government will respond to it next week. Mr Kenny also said there will be a Commission of Investigation into Sgt McCabe’s allegations.
It points out the inadequate response of Mr Shatter under his statutory function for independent investigation and it’s in that respect Mr Shatter feels it is his duty to resign, Mr Kenny said.
Mr Kenny said that when Mr Shatter read the report and considered its implications he sent the Taoiseach a letter of resignation which he “accepted with regret.”
Mr Kenny said Mr Shatter and himself had considered the contents of the Guerin report during the day. Some legal issues needed to be addressed in advance of the publication of the report which were currently with the Attorney General, he added.
“However, I can advise the House that the report is critical of the inadequacy of the actions taken by a number of agencies, notably An Garda Siochana but also including the Department of Justice and Equality and also the Minister for Justice in responding to the allegations made by Sgt McCabe,’’ he added.
“In that context, the Minister has accepted responsibility and has taken the course of tendering his resignation.’’
The Guerin investigation centred on a dossier containing cases that Sgt McCabe claimed were not properly investigated by gardaí, including allegations of murder, abduction and assault.
Mr Kenny added that Mr Guerin had found there was “inadequate uses of the minister’s statutory powers and responsibilities”. The Department of Justice has released Mr Shatter’s letter of resignation, sent to Mr Kenny this morning.
In his letter, he says he agrees with Mr Guerin’s conclusion “that is appropriate that these matters be the subject of a statutory inquiry”.
“I would, however, be less than honest if I did also not record my concerns and reservations with regard to his (Guerin’s) report and, in particular, certain conclusions reached by him,” Mr Shatter says.