Alan Shatter: Paris killings attack on democracy

Former justice minister Alan Shatter has called the “murderous atrocities” in Paris an attack on “the European values of democracy and freedom of expression”.

In an interview in today’s issue of Feelgood, Mr Shatter said the issue of terrorism and the threat it poses was something that occupied him during his time as minister.

“I suppose the other thing to say is that one of the issues I was particularly involved in as minister for justice was that I was a member of the European Justice Ministers’ Group, looking at the issue of terrorism and the threat it poses within EU member states,” said Mr Shatter.

“And the type of dreadful murderous atrocities that we saw in Paris was the type we particularly feared — opposing the European values of democracy and freedom of expression. This is one of a whole series of similar murderous assaults — [made] worse by the numbers and the messages it carries.”

Mr Shatter said he was concerned that the type of attacks seen in Paris are “not isolated events”.

“These are now a series of incidents which we need to take extremely seriously in Europe and globally,” said Me Shatter.

When asked about his time in Cabinet, he said he would “always be grateful to Enda Kenny” for giving him the chance to serve as minister but was “frankly disappointed” that he did not get to implement the programme that he wanted.

Mr Shatter also said that, in time, people would have a different view on the Garda whistleblower scandal.

“The bizarre events of the first few months of 2014 of course gave rise to additional pressure and difficulties and some of those events are still in the ether and being processed and I think as each of them is processed in time to come people will have an entirely different perspective on those events,” said Mr Shatter.

Mr Shatter also hit out at some commentators in the media, who he accused of making statements that were “utterly inaccurate”.

“It was after I resigned that I said about GSOC... the false allegations made that the Gardaí had them under surveillance that... for a long time I was accused about covering up and telling lies about particular matters and I was very pleased that two reports established that everything that I said about that was in fact true,” he said.

“I’m afraid political excitement and some of the comments made by media commentators were utterly inaccurate. As things are evolving, it will be recognised that what I said about those events was truthful and the manner in which I dealt with them was both competent and appropriate.”

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