There is a “growing sense of arrogance” in the Coalition arising from its “massive majority” it was claimed by Fianna Fáil, as it tabled its motion of no confidence in Alan Shatter, the justice minister.
Mr Shatter’s capacity to carry out his ministerial duties has taken “another deadly knock” following recent controversy over his failure to provide a full breath test when stopped by gardaí, said Niall Collins, the Opposition spokesman on justice.
He also accused Mr Shatter of “trampling on people’s rights to natural justice” when he had used sensitive Garda information to reveal on television that Independent TD Mick Wallace, had been caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel.
Calling on the minister to resign, Mr Collins outlined what he described as a “damning list of failures” which culminated in the motion of no confidence.
He said Mr Shatter’s time in office has resulted in:
* 140 Garda stations lying idle across the country.
* A poorly resourced force hovering above 13,000 with additional budget cuts in the midst of an unprecedented morale crisis.
* A judiciary alienated by the minister.
* A new personal insolvency regime that has handed all the cards to the banks.
* A Garda Ombudsman and a force who are in open conflict.
He said the Opposition had a duty to hold the Government to account and ensure abuses of power do not go unnoticed. He urged Garda management to consult with the gardaí who were at the incident in 2008 or 2009 where Mr Shatter was unable to give a full breath test, and to generate a report.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved