Monday 19 March 2018

Taoiseach is accused of 'hawking' Shatter's resignation letter around

Alan Shatter said his letter had been 'written in good faith'
Alan Shatter said his letter had been 'written in good faith'
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Former justice minister Alan Shatter has accused the Taoiseach of "hawking" segments of his resignation letter around in a bid to save his credibility.

An accusation from the ex-Fine Gael TD yesterday that Enda Kenny has a "casual relationship with the truth" was met with fury from Government Buildings.

Mr Kenny's officials rejected the claim as "completely out of hand" and referred journalists to the letter submitted by Mr Shatter when he resigned in May 2014.

In it, Mr Shatter said the Taoiseach was doing "an extraordinary job" and thanked him "for all the assistance and support".

However, the former TD told the Irish Independent last night that the letter was "written in good faith" at a time when he "wished to depart from government with some dignity".

He noted that it also detailed two major concerns he had about the Guerin Report into the handling of allegations made by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe. It found that Mr Shatter failed to heed the whistleblower's concerns, prompting the Taoiseach to tell his then minister that he could not express confidence in him.

A commission of investigation, headed by Mr Justice Kevin O'Higgins, has since found Mr Shatter had dealt with the concerns appropriately.

Mr Shatter said he asked the Taoiseach to query why he wasn't interviewed as part of the Guerin Inquiry and why documents in the possession of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission weren't assessed by the senior counsel Sean Guerin.

"I assumed when I resigned he'd address these concerns," Mr Shatter said.

He met with Mr Kenny again in June 2015 and felt the Taoiseach "had a genuine interest" but the concerns were never followed up.

"I wrote that letter in good faith because I thought I was dealing with somebody who was being upfront," Mr Shatter said.

Irish Independent

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