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’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.