Shatter denies refusing access to his toilet
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter denies he refuses to let gardai protecting his home to use the toilet in the house.
The minister was asked yesterday if the gardai would need to bring "a commode" to use while on duty at his house in south county Dublin.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath claimed he had "reliable information" of a number of "run-ins and disputes" with the gardai on duty.
Mr McGrath asked if the gardai were refused the right to use the toilet at the house.
"Are they going to have to bring a commode to use outside your house?" he asked.
"People can laugh if they like but it is a fact. They have to go back to the station."
Dail questions were being taken by the Tanaiste but Mr Shatter was beside him.
The Justice Minister did not get an opportunity to reply to Mr McGrath, apart from a jibe about the Independent TD's choice of topic.
"That is the issue of the day, is it?" the minister said.
But last night, in response to the Irish Independent, Mr Shatter's spokesperson said it had never been the practice to comment publicly on security arrangements relating to protection.
"However, the minister wishes to make it clear that there has never been any question of the minister refusing access by the gardai to his house in the circumstances outlined by the deputy and the minister is totally bemused by the allegations," the spokesperson said.