Sunday 27 May 2018

Former Justice Minister Shatter's 'intention' to run in next General Election

Dublin-South TD also 'concerned' about the upcoming marriage equality referendum

Deputy Alan Shatter
Deputy Alan Shatter
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter said it is his ‘intention’ to run in the next General Election.

The Dublin-South TD said his decision will depend on the support he receives from Fine Gael members in his constituency.

“I’m reflecting on the matter,” Mr Shatter told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny.

“It is my intention to run and much of that depends on the support I will get from Fine Gael members in my constituency, all who have given me tremendous support over the years.”

Mr Shatter said he is hoping for a ‘continuing state of Constitutional renewal’ in Ireland.

Speaking to the programme, he also said he does not think the Government or electorate should ‘take it for granted’ that the upcoming marriage equality referendum will be successful.

“I think this is a very important referendum, and this is the continuing focus on constitutional renewal I referenced last night,” he said.

“I’m very conscious this referendum is very important for many people.

“It is the recognition as what I have described as equal humanity of each of us, despite sexual orientation.

“I’ve been around long enough to recollect the 1986 divorce referendum. The polls said 77pc were in favour of change, the Government took it for granted that the referendum would be successful and little was done to campaign,” he continued.

“By the time of the polling day, two thirds voted no and only one third voted in favour of change.

“We should not take for granted this referendum will be successful.

“We should stay focused and a campaign should be put in place so all the questions can be answered before the poll.”

Mr Shatter said the 'tight timing' between now and the referendum is also a cause of concern for him.

"This legislation has yet to be published, debated, the referendum is set to be held on some unannounced date in April," he said.

"The time to get this legislation completed, this very complex legislation, is very tight in the context of the referendum.

"I'm concerned controversy that could arise on the Bill will get muddled up on the referendum debate.

"I'm concerned about the time frame," he added.

The former justice minister is currently launching a High Court challenge over a decision by the Data Protection Commissioner that he breached the law by disclosing information about Independent TD Mick Wallace on live television.

The Data Protection Commissioner ruled that Mr Shatter was breach of data protection laws following a discussion on RTE’s ‘Prime Time’ prompting him to launch a challenge to the circuit court, which ruled against him last month.

However Deputy Shatter appealed the decision and will take the case to the High Court.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section