JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter launched a robust defence of his handling of claims that gardaí mishandled a number of cases involving serious crimes and hit out at Fianna Fáil in the Dáil this morning.
In a lengthy statement to the house today, Shatter said that while Micheál Martin was “totally right” to hand over documents given to him by the garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe many of his political charges were “not true”.
He said that assertion that nothing was done in relation to the serious allegations raised by McCabe were “entirely incorrect” and said the opposition did not know all of the facts about the matter.
He said had the opposition known all that had happened in recent years in relation to the matters raised, the charges made against him would not have been made.
Shatter gave a comprehensive timeline of complaints by McCabe to both the Garda Commissioner and the confidential recipient and addressed the allegations raised in relation to some of the cases that Martin has highlighted.
Shatter claimed that McCabe raised his grievances with former Fianna Fáil justice minister Dermot Ahern as far back as 2009, but was told at that time that the conduct of garda investigations was a matter for the Garda Commissioner.
Shatter said that “allegations are not facts” and that McCabe’s allegations have been “caught up in partisan and divisive political debate”.
The Minister said he bore “no animosity” towards McCabe.
He rejected claims that he misled the house in October of last year in saying that McCabe did not cooperate with an internal garda investigation into allegations of malpractice in the penalty points system.
Shatter said there was a difference of “views and perception” between the gardaí and McCabe on whether or not the whistleblower was offered the opportunity to make a submission to the O’Mahony inquiry.
He said there was “no basis” for the suggestion that he was misled by the Garda Commissioner on McCabe’s cooperation or that he in turn misled the house.