Tuesday 24 January 2017

Arrogance and hubris clouded a great legal mind

Published 08/05/2014 | 02:30

Masters: Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking with Minister for Justice
Masters: Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking with Minister for Justice
Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter with former President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth at the Garden of Remembrance. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Alan Shatter taken from his newsletter.
Alan Shatter and family.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking with former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in January. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Alan Shatter and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, pictured at the Launch of the Community Crime Prevention Programme Booklet. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

IT is customary, when writing political obituaries, to highlight the positive attributes of the recently departed. And so it should be said, in the style of political colleagues that rallied to the defence of former Justice Minister Alan Shatter – even as his credibility sank like a stone – that he was a talented legal thinker who worked incredibly hard on his reform agenda.

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What a pity that Mr Shatter, who resigned in disgrace after a series of mostly self-inflicted scandals, did not work incredibly hard on the hubris and arrogance that characterised his tenure and led to his downfall, one that could yet unseat the entire Coalition.

What a pity his superciliousness and omnipotent conceit, despite his acknowledged talents and achievements, constantly got in the way of a promising legacy.

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