Shatter racked up €15k bill for Trinity award
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter spent €15,000 flying the government jet to Luxembourg, partly so he could return to Dublin in time to receive an award from a student law society.
His department wrote to the Taoiseach's office requesting use of the costly state-owned plane ahead of high-level EU ministerial meetings in October of last year.
The application said commercial flights were not available on the morning he was due to meet his European counterparts and he would have to fly the night before the event.
It was also noted that Mr Shatter had been invited by the Dublin University Law Society to receive a Trinity Praeses Elit award and commercial flights would not allow him return in time for the ceremony.
"It will not be possible for the minister to attend this event if he travels by commercial flights," the application stated.
The request form said travelling by private jet would allow the minister work on confidential work while he was in flight.
Mr Shatter was given permission to take the Gulf Stream IV for the trip and the cost of flights for the one-day visit came to €15,866, according to official Defence Force figures.
The Irish Independent understands that the Trinity College event was attended by around 30 students and the minister spoke for half-an-hour.
A spokeswoman for the student law society said: "Minister Shatter did attend the event on the 8th of October, where he spoke to the students on the upcoming Legal Services Bill."
A Justice spokeswoman said the minister had a "number of engagements" the following day, including legislative commitments in the Dail.