By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
TD Alan Shatter has revealed a €12 expense claim for photos was related to a foreign visa needed for his ministerial duties, and not for his own passport.
The Dublin TD, who left the Cabinet last year, said Defence department officials asked him to submit receipts for the cost of the photos, and other doctors’ fees connected with the ministerial visit to the Middle East at the end of 2013.
Mr Shatter said that the visa was needed so he could conduct the trip as Defence minister which saw him visit Irish peace keeping troops and also a refugee camp.
The Deputy expressed upset at the way he had been depicted as a result of the expense claim.
Mr Shatter said that despite widespread foreign travel as a minister, he had never claimed the daily allowance all ministers are entitled to for such trips.
The ex-minister said claims the photos were for his own passport: “depicted me as a dishonest money-grabbing politician fleecing taxpayers by an indefensible expenses claim.”
The TD said as a result of the reports he “became the object of vile anti-Semitic comment.
“The allegation made was that when minister for Justice and Defence I had made an expenses claim of €12 for photos I required for my personal passport. Of course, I did not.
“The true story is that in my role as Minister for Defence in November 2013 I undertook ministerial engagements in Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, which included visiting Irish troops engaged in a variety of UN missions and a refugee camp in Jordan accommodating many thousands.
“Arrangements for the visit required my obtaining inoculations and photos for a Lebanese visa. I was asked to furnish all relevant receipts to the Department of Defence and did so,” Mr Shatter wrote on his Facebook page.
* Alan Shatter T.D.
On August 18 we published an article entitled “Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter claimed €12 for his Passport Photos” stating that Mr Shatter had claimed €12 in expenses from the State for his passport photos.
We have been asked to clarify that the photos in question were not for his personal private use but were obtained for the purpose of obtaining a Lebanese visa ahead of Former Minister Shatter’s diplomatic visit to Lebanon, Jordan and Israel in November 2013.
Mr Shatter was requested by the Department of Defence to obtain the photos and to furnish all invoices/receipts in accordance with usual Department practice, which he did.
The photos in question were not for personal use but were used solely for diplomatic purposes.
We are happy to clarify the matter and apologise to Mr Shatter for any upset and distress caused as a result of our publication.