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Monday 19 February 2018

Shatter quits as Justice Minister

Alan Shatter has resigned as Justice Minister
Alan Shatter has resigned as Justice Minister

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has resigned over his handling of alleged wrongdoing in the Garda.

Mr Shatter stepped down after a series of scandals related to complaints from a Garda whistleblower dogged his last few months in office.

A 300-page independent review of allegations of wrongdoing and malpractice in the force has found inadequate investigation and analysis of the issues raised by serving Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced Mr Shatter's resignation in the Dail parliament.

In a resignation letter Mr Shatter said: "I am anxious that any controversy that may arise on publication of the report does not distract from the important work of the Government or create any difficulties for the Fine Gael or Labour parties in the period leading in the European and local government elections.

"It is my judgment that the only way in which such controversy can be avoided is by my offering you my resignation."

The report on the McCabe affair is to be published on Friday morning.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Shatter resigned after the report found him to be "inadequate" in his obligation to be independent in his investigation of the whistleblower allegations.

The 300-page report is to be published on Friday morning.

"The Minister having read the report and considered its implications has sent me his resignation which I have accepted with regret," he said.

Mr Kenny said he did not demand Mr Shatter's resignation and added that he was not expecting anyone else to stand down over the controversy.

The Government is now expected to set up a full-scale State inquiry into the affair.

Mr Shatter said he had concerns and reservations about some of the conclusions in the report on Sgt McCabe's complaints.

He said he was surprised senior counsel Sean Guerin, who examined the whistleblower's allegations, did not receive documentation from the Garda Ombudsman's office.

Mr Shatter said he had expected to be interviewed as part of the inquiry.

The Fine Gael TD revealed he only read three chapters of the report but that he agrees there should be a statutory inquiry.

Mr Guerin's report did not make any findings on the veracity of the McCabe complaints as it was not within the scope of his inquiry.

Press Association

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