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Gardai up Shatter home security after raid

GARDAI have launched tougher security measures at the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter after the break-in last month.

Visitors who are not recognised as residents in the Delbrook Manor cul-de-sac in Ballinteer are now being stopped by gardai to establish their identity and purpose.

Mr Shatter's house was broken into while he was on official business in Australia and New Zealand during the St Patrick's weekend.

During that incident, on March 18, a man got into the house unchallenged by gardai or security. Gardai responded at about 11.30pm after the alarm was triggered at the house, where Mr Shatter lives with his wife Carol and two children.

No one was in the house at the time of the break-in.

The man entered through a back window, but it is unclear how long he was inside the house.







footage

Gardai checked CCTV footage and later arrested the suspect close to the house, it is understood.

Four arrests have now been made in relation to the burglary, and one man, Darragh Heavey (25), of Moeran Road, in Walkinstown, has been remanded in custody after being charged.

He appeared at Dun Laoghaire District Court on March 20 on charges of trespass and intent to commit theft of two watches of unknown value belonging to the minister.

When a reporter and photographer from the Herald called to Mr Shatter's home to assess current security arrangements in the wake of the burglary their car was stopped and a garda on patrol politely and professionally asked for identification.







Alarm

Physical security arrangements at the house itself do not appear to have been visually altered since the burglary.

There is still a burglar alarm on the property, and if there is CCTV on the house, it is certainly not visible from outside.

There is no security hut at the house -- there are at the homes of former taoisigh such as Bertie Ahern and Liam Cosgrave.

A garda source has told the Herald that Mr Shatter's house would have been under garda observation from the time he was appointed to the position but was unable to explain how a burglar was able to gain entry last month.

Security on senior ministers and their homes has always been a feature in Irish politics, but it has been relaxed to a degree since the successful peace process in the North, since security risks have now diminished.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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