Tuesday 21 November 2017

Donal Lynch: Politician, reformer, steamy novelist, PVC tailor – the many sides of Shatter

The Justice Minister's many eccentricities have drawn comment in the Dail but he's no fool

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

There is a story told around Leinster House about Alan Shatter, that when he makes a phone call and finds himself talking to anyone else other than whom he needs to talk to, he simply hangs up the phone. No 'goodbye', no explanation, just a click and the man with the absurdly fecund eyebrows is gone – like in the movies.

Whatever the truth of that, it was the type of small, seemingly insignificant detail that came to mind again last week as we witnessed the compelling theatre of a minister fighting for his political future in the Dail.

As Enda sang hosannas to his loyal party colleague, calling him, among other things, "the most reforming Justice Minister of the last 100 years", an indignantly shrill Kerry voice squeaked from the recesses of the chamber. "He wouldn't even say hello to anyone!" cried Michael Healy-Rae in exasperation. Everyone laughed heartily but there were sage nods around the Dail chamber.

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