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Here are the detailed reasons Alan Shatter gave for why Willie O’Dea should have resigned in 2010:
“Yesterday, Minister Willie O Dea and his Fianna Fáil and Green colleagues defended his swearing of a false affidavit on the basis that the Minister in his private capacity had inadvertently made an error which he subsequently corrected, and that this had no implications for his membership of Cabinet.
“Extraordinarily in his speech yesterday, delivered at the end of the Confidence Debate, Minister O’Dea informed the Dáil that the false allegation made by him against a general election opponent, resulted from information furnished to him by An Garda Síochána.
“Information given by the gardaí to Minister O’Dea could not have been furnished to him in his private capacity but only in his capacity as Minister for Defence and as a member of Cabinet. It must be presumed that any such information, when furnished by a member of the gardaí, to a government minister would be expected to be kept confidential and disclosed to no other persons, other than to members of Cabinet within the confidentiality of Cabinet discussions, where the information is sufficiently serious to require such discussion.
“What Minister O’Dea admitted yesterday is that he willingly and publicly discussed, for his own electoral gain, confidential information furnished to him by a member of An Garda Síochána. Such conduct is entirely unacceptable by any minister in any Government. Such conduct by a Minister for Defence, part of whose constitutional duty is to secure the security of the State, renders the Minster unfit for Cabinet office.
“No member of the gardaí, nor any member of the Defence Forces, can now in any way be assured that confidential information furnished to this minister will not be misused and be made public. The Minister s position is no longer defensible, and it is a sad reflection on the judgment of both the Taoiseach and the Green members of Government, that he remains in Cabinet.
“I am calling on both to immediately take the action necessary, as a consequence of the information given by the Minister to the Dáil yesterday. This can no longer be claimed to be a private matter. It is a very public matter of direct relevance to the security of the State. ”
I think that says it all really.
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