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Gardai agree with Shatter version of breath-test events


Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter's version of his roadside breath test in 2008 will not be contradicted, garda sources have said.

Mr Shatter said he was stopped by gardai at a checkpoint five years ago on Pembroke Street in Dublin and asked to give a breath sample, but claimed he could not do so because of his asthma.

Opposition parties are demanding the publication of any Garda report into the incident, which occurred when Mr Shatter was in Opposition.



Garda sources have said there is no report on the incident, which is not recorded on Pulse, the Garda's computer system, and say his account of events is consistent with what they believe happened.

"He was stopped by two male gardai and a female from Pearse Street Garda Station," one source said. "It happened as he has said it happened."

Niall Collins, the Fianna Fail justice spokesman, said he would be asking for any reports or statements on the event.

The incident involving Mr Shatter emerged after he made controversial remarks about Independent TD Mick Wallace when he disclosed details of a minor "ticking off" of Mr Wallace by gardai for using a mobile phone while driving.

Meanwhile, speaking on RTE's The Week In Politics, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte dismissed the controversy surrounding Shatter as a "bottle of smoke".

"I mean, we're five years into the worse economic crisis that has ever afflicted this country since independence and we've spent 10 days on an entirely superficial and trivial issue where even the newspapers today admit that they can't dig up anything else on the Minister for Justice," he said.

Separately, Mr Shatter has confirmed that one of two watches stolen from his home turned out to be a fake Rolex.

The burglary occurred while the minister was on a St Patrick's Day visit to Australia.

"The first, a good watch which had belonged to my late father-in-law and the second a cheap watch which I purchased on holidays in Spain or the Canaries 20 years ago," he said.

One of Mr Shatter's responsibilities as Justice Minister is to tackle the massive counterfeit trade, which costs European economies billions each year.

A man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last month to trespass with intent to commit theft at Mr Shatter's home in Dundrum, Dublin, on March 18 last year.

A man was arrested in the vicinity of the house and two watches and an item of jewellery were recovered.

The man's hearing was not reported by the media.

He is to be sentenced next month. No offence was committed by the possession of the fake Rolex.