Kenny tells Dáil there is no Garda report on checkpoint incident

FF motion of no confidence in Minister for Justice to be discussed later

 Minister Alan Shatter at Citizenship Ceremony Alan Shatter pictured earlier this month. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

Minister Alan Shatter at Citizenship Ceremony Alan Shatter pictured earlier this month. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

 

There is no Garda report on the incident involving Minister for Justice Alan Shatter at a checkpoint when he was an Opposition TD, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil.

Mr Kenny said it had been confirmed, in a formal letter from the office of the Garda Commissioner to the Department of Justice’s secretary general, there was no report from the garda involved.

“I believe that and I accept that,’’ said Mr Kenny.

The Taoiseach was replying in the Dáil this afternoon to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins.

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Later this evening, the House will debate a Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in Mr Shatter.

Mr Adams said he accepted what the Taoiseach had said, but he had been advised there had to be a Garda report on a checkpoint. “That is the law,’’ he added.

Mr Collins said Mr Shatter held probably the most sensitive office in Government. Minister Shatter had gone on RTÉ’s Prime Time and divulged private information given to him by the Garda Commissioner relating to Independent TD Mick Wallace who had been cautioned for using his mobile phone while driving.

“He clearly crossed the line,’’ Mr Collins added.

Mr Kenny said Mr Shatter had apologised for the comment he made on RTE relating to gardai using their discretion in Mr Wallace’s case. Mr Shatter, who suffered from an asthmatic condition, made two attempts to blow into a breath-testing facility at a mandatory checkpoint in Pembroke Street, Dublin.

“I have absolute confidence in the Minister to do his job,’’ the Taoiseach added.