Sunday 30 April 2017

Kenny rejects Shatter's scathing claim the 'Taoiseach had a casual relationship with the truth'

Former Justice minister wants apology over 'the most difficult years of my life'

Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny Picture: Steve Humphreys
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny Picture: Steve Humphreys

Amy Molloy and Niall O'Connor

FORMER Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has launched a scathing attack on Taoiseach Enda Kenny - claiming that he had a "casual relationship with the truth".

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Mr Shatter said he welcomed the judgement of the Court of Appeal yesterday but feels he is entitled to an apology from the Taoiseach over "the most difficult years of my life".

A spokesman for the Taoiseach has rejected the "completely out of hand" claims by Alan Shatter that he had a "casual relationship with the truth".

The Court of Appeal ruled the Government had an obligation to vindicate Mr Shatter's rights after finding parts of the Guerin report were "seriously damaging" to the former Fine Gael TD.

Mr Kenny is now faced with the prospect of having to redact or remove from circulation the Guerin report on Garda whistleblowing, following the successful legal challenge.

"There was never anything inappropriate said to me by Martin Callinan or the current Garda Commissioner about Maurice McCabe," said Alan Shatter.

He also claimed he was left with "no choice" but to resign from his role as Minister for Justice as the Taoiseach "dealt with the matter wrongly".

When asked if he was sacked by the Taoiseach, he responded: "Of course I was, I was put under pressure".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter Photo: :Mark Condren
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter Photo: :Mark Condren

"The truth is that man never talked to me...The Taoiseach was wrong to have accepted the report. He was wrong to have ignored what I said in my resignation letter. He was wrong to ignore what I said when I put these matters on Dail record," he said.

Mr Shatter said when you know you are telling the truth and are constantly accused of telling lies, being told you are part of "crazy conspiracies", it is difficult.

He said he was mocked and accused of being arrogant for defending himself.

Finally, he said he hopes the Court of Appeal's findings will not be appealed to the Supreme Court, so he can "get on with my life".

Following the radio interview the Mr Kenny released a statement saying he "rejects" the charge made by Mr Shatter.

"In a contribution to the Dáil on 25 May 2016 the Taoiseach said 'I am very pleased to acknowledge that the O'Higgins report has found clearly that the former Minister acted properly at all times in relation to the handling of allegations made by Maurice McCabe.'

"The Guerin report has been removed from all Government websites.

He continued: "Can I refer you to Alan's resignation letter when he said the following: 'I believe you are an extraordinary Taoiseach doing an extraordinary job during what has been a very difficult time for our country and I want to thank you for all the assistance and support you have given to me.'

"The Taoiseach rejects the charge made by Alan today."

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