Timeline: Alan Shatter

TD waited 30 years for a seat at Cabinet - but resigns his ministry after just three years

Alan Shatter with a copy of a HSE report on childcare outside Leinster House in 2010. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Alan Shatter with a copy of a HSE report on childcare outside Leinster House in 2010. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


June 1981: Alan Shatter is first elected to the Dáil.

May 2002: Alan Shatter loses his Dáil seat. He would subsequently regain it in the 2007 General Election.

March 9th, 2011: Alan Shatter’s 30 year wait for a seat at Cabinet ends as he is appointed Minister for Justice and Defence.

May 15th, 2013: Alan Shatter criticises the whistleblowers who are alleging widespread corruption in the Garda in relation to the cancellation of penalty points. “It is a matter of concern that the allegations made by this Garda whistleblower were in many instances seriously inaccurate and without any foundation in fact, or else involved an incomplete understanding of the facts,” he says.

May 16th, 2013: During a discussion on RTE’s Primetime, Alan Shatter reveals that independent TD Mick Wallace was stopped for using his mobile phone while driving but avoided getting penalty points due to garda discretion.

October 1st, 2013: The Comptroller and Auditor General publishes a report into the penalty points scandal. It finds there had been significant weaknesses in the system and supports the claims made by the whistleblowers.

October 2nd, 2013: Alan Shatter gives incorrect information to the Dáil when he claims the two whistleblowers had not cooperated with the internal Garda inquiry carried out by assistant commissioner John O’Mahoney.

January 28th, 2014: Alan Shatter announces that Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is to conduct a new inquiry into the penalty points allegations.

February 9th, 2014: Revelations in The Sunday Times suggest there are concerns within GSOC that its offices have been bugged. A UK security company had been called in to investigate.

February 19th, 2014: Taoiseach Enda Kenny announces that the Garda Confidential Recipient has been sacked due to the nature of a conversation with whistleblower Sgt McCabe.

February 25th, 2014: Criminal barrister Sean Guerin is asked to review the penalty points dossier supplied by whistleblowers Sgt McCabe and retired garda John Wilson. He is to decide whether a full statutory inquiry is required.

March 12th, 2014: The Garda Inspectorate publishes its report. In it, major failings with the penalty points system are highlighted while many of the concerns of the whistleblowers are vindicated.

March 25th, 2014: Garda commissioner Martin Callinan announces he is to retire with immediate effect. He cites family reasons. There are suggestions in the Dáil that Mr Callinan was sacked by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Later in the day, the Cabinet is told of widespread taping of calls into and out of Garda stations with up to 2,500 tapes involved. Taoiseach Enda Kenny tells the Dáil the practice dates back to the 1980s.

March 26th, 2014: An embattled Alan Shatter apologises to the two Garda whistleblowers and defends his handling of revelations of the widespread recording of telephone calls to and from Garda stations.

May 6th, 2014: Alan Shatter is found to have broken the law when Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes makes a negative ruling against him in relation to his comments about independent TD Mick Wallace on Primetime.

May 7th, 2014: Alan Shatter resigns from his position in Government following receipt of the report of Seán Guerin into allegations made by Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe.