Monday 14 October 2019

Minister denies report exists

Fiach Kelly

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has stuck to his claim there is no garda report into the incident when he was stopped at a drink-driving checkpoint – and says it, therefore, could not go missing.

However, Mr Shatter did not address whether he told a garda it was unconstitutional to stop him while he was coming from the Dail, and said: "Check your law book".

Neither did he address whether he asked the garda: "Don't you know who I am?"

"The simple fact is, there was no wrongdoing on my part and the law was not broken." He said he was not aware of "any precedent" of publishing garda reports, but said his department asked An Garda Siochana "if they had any report on the matter".

"My department has been advised by the Commissioner that the Garda Siochana has not been able to locate any such report and that no report was generated by the garda member involved which, given that there is no wrongdoing at issue, is hardly a surprise," Mr Shatter said.

"Consequently, no report of the garda member could have disappeared as alleged." He also said "with hindsight" it was a mistake to use the confidential information on Independent TD Mick Wallace passed to him by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

"Is it something for which I owe Deputy Wallace an apology? It is and I have already apologised. Would I do it again? No."

Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins said his party had no confidence in the minister because of his "disastrous policies, poor relations, hypocrisy and arrogant abuse of power".

He also said Mr Shatter had "the most toxic relationship with rank and file gardai in the history of the State" of any minister for justice.

Irish Independent

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