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Saturday 20 September 2014

Labour 'satisfied' with Dail Shatter response

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Published 23/05/2013 | 05:00

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JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has satisfied Labour with his response to the Mick Wallace affair, even though Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore says it has raised privacy issues that should be dealt with.

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Mr Gilmore said Mr Shatter's use of confidential garda information about Mr Wallace being let off by gardai when caught using a phone in his car "probably requires a longer and wider discussion".

However, senior Labour sources say they are largely happy with Mr Shatter's Dail explanation, in which he admitted Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan passed him the information on Mr Wallace as an "aside" in a conversation.

It means any remote threat to Mr Shatter's position, given Labour was not prepared to call for his resignation anyway, has receded.

PRIVACY

But Mr Gilmore still took a swipe at Mr Shatter's approach.

"There is an issue in regard to privacy, which probably requires a longer and a wider discussion," he told the Dail.

"Perhaps it is an issue which might be addressed by an Oireachtas committee."

The state ethics watchdog, the Standards in Public Office Commission, is still weighing up whether to investigate Mr Shatter on foot of a complaint from Mr Wallace and a member of the public.

The Data Protection Commissioner is already carrying out its own investigation.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin questioned why "the Commissioner felt it necessary to pass that information" to Mr Shatter.

Mr Gilmore said he had full confidence in Commissioner Callinan and the Garda Siochana, while Independent Clare Daly said she had no confidence in the Commissioner.

The Tanaiste said he had confidence in Mr Shatter, who Ms Daly accused of performing "a cabaret" in his Dail statement.

Irish Independent

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