Kenny and Gilmore on committee to oversee minister
Published 02/04/2014 | 02:30
Alan Shatter will now be overseen by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore because of the spate of controversies surrounding him in recent months.
A new special Cabinet sub-committee will be chaired by Mr Kenny and will include Mr Gilmore and one other senior Labour minister.
Clear divisions emerged between the Coalition parties last night as to how the committee's establishment came about.
Labour's spokeswoman insisted that the creation of the committee was on foot of a "specific demand" from Mr Gilmore.
Asked if the demand reflected a lack of confidence among Labour in Mr Shatter, the spokeswoman said that it rather "shows the seriousness of how the issue of justice reform is being taken by the Tanaiste".
However, a short time later, Fine Gael's spokesman claimed the assertion that the idea came from Labour "was wrong". Before the war of words erupted between the two government spokespersons, they both stated, at a briefing for political correspondents, that it was "entirely appropriate for cabinet committees to be established when important issues of the day arise".
Comparisons were made to the Cabinet Committee which was established to oversee the progression of the Personal Insolvency legislation during 2012 and 2013.
The new committee is to also oversee the introduction of the new Garda authority which is to be fast-tracked and is likely to be in place by the end of the year.
The creation of that authority has been one of the big demands from Labour since the Garda controversy first erupted earlier this year.
The new committee will make formal proposals to the Government for its consideration and final approval, according to sources.