Alan Shatter to contact Taoiseach when report published

Former justice minister Alan Shatter said he intends to contact Taoiseach Enda Kenny when the O’Higgins inquiry into allegations of Garda malpractice is published.

While he would not wait by the phone for an apology from Mr Kenny, Mr Shatter said he had no choice in May 2014 but to resign due to Mr Kenny’s refusal to back him.

Mr Shatter’s comments come after reports that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in his handling of allegations of Garda malpractice by the commission of investigation led by Judge Kevin O’Higgins.

Mr Shatter said the report was given to the current justice minister on Monday and there should be no delay in publishing it.

The O’Higgins inquiry was initiated on the back of claims that gardaí, particularly in the Cavan area, neglected investigations and that there was a serious mishandling of several cases.

An initial inquiry by barrister Sean Guerin in 2014 criticised Mr Shatter’s role as justice minister, a finding which resulted in his resignation. The report detailed a range of issues with policing in the Bailieborough Garda District.

Mr Shatter said that, following the completion of the larger O’Higgins investigation, the full document must be released to the public as soon as possible.

Furthermore, he claimed he had not been given 24 hours to read the original Guerin report.

“I believe they should get on with it now and publish this report today,” said Mr Shatter.

Questions need to be answered by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who had originally raised accusations about alleged Garda malpractice in Leinster House, said Mr Shatter.

There were also “questions” for Mr Kenny, said Mr Shatter, although he did not elaborate on what these might be.

Mr Shatter reiterated a claim he made after resigning in the wake of the Guerin report publication. He had told the Dáil Mr Guerin had reached critical “conclusions” in his report without talking to him or giving him a chance to address the criticisms. Mr Shatter said: “I also pointed out that he failed to read voluminous documentation that GSOC held that was of relevance to the inquiry.”

Mr Shatter said he had resigned for the good of his party, Fine Gael, ahead of the local elections and that Mr Kenny had refused to express confidence in the minister in the Dáil.

Mr Shatter said that, due to the way in which Mr Guerin conducted the inquiry and what Mr Kenny had said, he had “no choice” but to resign on May 7, 2014.

Asked if he expected an apology from Mr Kenny, he said: “I have no expectations of receiving a phonecall, I’m certainly not going to be standing by the phone.”

Mr Shatter said he expects to write about some issues to Mr Kenny when the O’Higgins report is officially published. “I do hope that I might get a substantive response,” he told RTÉ.


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