Enda Kenny acted in bad faith over Shane Ross row says Independent Alliance

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been accused of acting in “bad faith” by Independent Alliance ministers over a blazing row at Cabinet involving Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

Enda Kenny acted in bad faith over Shane Ross row says Independent Alliance

Mr Ross was said to be “outraged” and “deeply uneasy” about continuing in Government following the tense showdown with Mr Kenny on Tuesday.

Mr Ross and his fellow Independent Alliance members are disgusted at “being bounced” into having to adopt a unified Government position on a bill on Ireland’s neutrality in the Dáil.

Last night, relations between Fine Gael and the Alliance were said to be “extremely tetchy”.

Several ministers placed the blame for the row on a “communications breakdown”, saying the issue should have been dealt with before it came to Cabinet.

The anger stemmed from Mr Kenny’s refusal to contemplate a free vote, even though it had been agreed that matters falling outside the Programme for Government should not require a unified position.

Several members of the alliance told the Irish Examiner that Mr Kenny, “sought to lecture and patronise” them at Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny has ordered the 2014 Guerin report into the handling of Garda whistleblower allegations, which forced the resignation of former justice minister Alan Shatter, to be removed from his department’s website.

Earlier this week, Mr Shatter said he wanted certain findings made against him in the report to be removed and a corrected copy handed to the Taoiseach. He was seeking a number of court orders after winning an appeal over Mr Guerin’s failure to give him a right of reply. Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal ruled in Mr Shatter’s favour following his failed High Court challenge.

The withdrawal of the report is a major embarrassment for Mr Kenny, who all but forced the resignation of one of his most loyal supporters.

Mr Kenny said the removal of the report followed discussions with Attorney General Maire Whelan.

“Obviously, arising from the O’Higgins report and the decision of the Appeals Court there is no reason that it should be up on the website,” he added.

Last night, Mr Shatter said it had been over two and a half years since he raised concerns about the approach taken by Seán Guerin and also that he had been made a “political pariah by senior figures in Fine Gael.

He said the removal should have taken place long ago “and certainly no later than upon receipt by the Taoiseach of the O’Higgins Report”. He said Mr Kenny had so far declined to acknowledge that O’Higgins’ conclusions contradicted Guerin’s and he asked him to do so now.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence