Saturday 21 April 2018

Alan Shatter says Taoiseach gave him 'no choice' but to resign

Mr Shatter was left with little option but to step aside after the Guerin Report
Mr Shatter was left with little option but to step aside after the Guerin Report
Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny

Meadhbh McGrath

Former justice minister Alan Shatter has claimed the Taoiseach gave him “no choice” but to resign in 2014 and has called for the immediate publication of the O’Higgins report.

The report is believed to clear the former Dublin South TD of any wrongdoing in his handling of allegations of corruption and malpractice within An Garda Síochána.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Mr Shatter told host Keelin Shanley that it would be “unreasonable” if the publication of the report was delayed any further.

When the Guerin report was issued to the Taoiseach in 2014, Mr Shatter noted he “wasn’t even allowed 24 hours to read it and consider its content before effectively being required to resign”.

Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The O'Higgins report was handed to acting justice minister Frances Fitzgerald on Monday, and although Mr Shatter said he had “no difficulty” with her requiring 24 hours to read it, he said the report should be published immediately.

“I don’t know any reason why it should be delayed.

“I think it’s important that people can get on with their lives and the time has come for the full truth to be known,” he added.

Looking back on his own resignation, he said: “Effectively the Taoiseach informed me at the time that the future of the government depended on my actions.

Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny

“He made it clear to me that if I didn’t resign later that day, he wouldn’t be able to express confidence (with me) in Dail Eireann.”

Mr Shatter claimed that “the approach the Taoiseach took” left him with “no choice” but to resign.

When asked whether he was now anticipating an apology from the Taoiseach, he said: “I have no expectations of receiving a phone call. I’m certainly not going to be standing by the phone.

“The last contact I had with the Taoiseach was 10 days before polling day in the General Election,” he added.

Mr Shatter also discussed the current negotiations between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, and expressed his concern over the formation of a minority government.

He described the situation as “extraordinarily depressing”.

“If a minority government is created, I personally don’t believe it will last 12 months.

“Insofar as this might be described as some sort of partnership arrangement, this is going to be a very uncivil partnership,” he said.

He also stated that if another general election were called, it wouldn't be “the worst thing that could happen”.

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