Alan Shatter not owed an apology by Taoiseach, says Simon Coveney

Former justice minister Alan Shatter does not deserve an apology over the Guerin report fallout, says a senior Government minister.
Alan Shatter not owed an apology by Taoiseach, says Simon Coveney

Housing Minister Simon Coveney rejected the call for an apology after the court of appeal last week found Mr Shatter’s rights were breached because his views were not sought by the State inquiry into how whistleblowers were handled.

In several comments in recent days, Mr Shatter has said the report and its findings — which, it emerged at the weekend, is now the subject of attempts by senior gardaí to have it annulled despite highlighting serious problems in the force — ultimately contributed to his resignation as minister.

He has also claimed it contributed to his failure to retain his seat in February’s general election.

Since the court of appeal ruling, Mr Shatter has made it clear he wants an apology, a move that could have significant legal implications.

However, speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme, Mr Coveney said that while he is “pleased” his former Government colleague won his case, he does not believe Mr Shatter is owed an apology.

“First of all, I’m very pleased for Alan that he won his case,” said Mr Coveney. “I think what we have now is a vindication of Alan’s position.”

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

Asked if Mr Shatter is owed an apology by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, he added: “No, because the Taoiseach had to make some very difficult decisions at that time, on the facts that were in front of him at that time.”

The comment was made as reports yesterday said senior gardaí criticised in the Guerin report are considering a request to have the high-profile findings removed from the State records.

Meanwhile, an opposition TD has made fresh garda whistleblower claims under the protected disclosures act after hitting out at the failure from Government to act on the concerns since they were first raised earlier this year.

Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny confirmed that he has contacted Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald over the allegations.

Mr Kenny, a TD for Sligo-Leitrim, alleges that gardaí in the north-west region have engage active criminals as informants, run their own informants outside of the official Covert Handling of Intelligence Sources scheme, and used others to “entrap” people for prosecutions.

He further claims the measures were covered up by “rogue gardaí”.

He previously raised the concerns during a Dail debate before this summer, urging action to examine the situation.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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