Oliver Callan: In defence of Alan Shatter

Despite being vindicated by the O’Higgins report the former justice minister has got little sympathy from the public

Alan Shatter, a dogged and nuanced legal mind, would make for an uncomfortable figure on the backbenches for Enda Kenny where his future hung on every last vote. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Alan Shatter, a dogged and nuanced legal mind, would make for an uncomfortable figure on the backbenches for Enda Kenny where his future hung on every last vote. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Alan Shatter’s plight is not as significant as Sgt Maurice McCabe’s, but it is a plight nonetheless. The former minister for justice is not an easy man to convey as a victim, his voice lingering somewhere between Anthony Hopkins’ Lecter and Hal, the omniscient computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In most professions, intelligent figures are considered geniuses and innovators. In politics, it translates as pompous know-it-all. Shatter lacks the sort of bucolic witticisms that propel Kerry folk on to front pages, and so his predicament is not easy to consume and give prominence to.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.