Shatter condemns assault of Bertie Ahern

Shatter condemns assault of Bertie Ahern

Shatter condemns assault of Bertie Ahern

The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, said no former Government members should be subject to physical assaults.

His comments come in the wake of an attack on former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in a Dublin pub at the weekend.

"I can understand for a whole series of reasons, there are people who are angry or upset at decisions made by his Government," Shatter said.

"That doesn't mean that any member of any previous Government should be the object of physical attack or any unlawful conduct by any individual."

The former Fianna Fáil leader, who was also recently sent a rope in the post, was allegedly assaulted by a man with a crutch in a Dublin pub on Friday night.

Minister Shatter said that former Taoisigh like Bertie Ahern earn enough money from the State to pay for their own security, however, ruling out any review by Government for providing protection to one-time politicians.

“There are some former Taoisigh who are receiving very substantial sums of money from the State who, I would think should they need an independent driver or some additional security, are in a position to arrange that themselves,” Mr Shatter said.

The Minister said he relies on advice from gardaí as to what security measures are required by former Taoisigh.

Mr Ahern, who receives a State pension of around €135,000, was allegedly attacked by a man wielding a crutch in a city centre pub on Friday.

Mr Shatter pointed out that the Government made a decision when it was fresh in office to limit the number of Garda cars used in politics.

“It was determined that it wasn’t necessary that former Taoisigh be driven by members of An Garda Síochána,” he said.

“There are only three ministers, three members of Cabinet who for security reasons are provided with Garda cars with drivers – that’s the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and myself as Minister for Justice, for security reasons.”


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