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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

“The arrogance of the Minister for Justice will be his downfall”: Calls for Minister Shatter to quit

Several TDs have said that the Minister’s position is now untenable.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 2.40pm

SEVERAL TDS HAVE called for the Justice Minister Alan Shatter to follow the path of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and resign.

Clare Daly, who along with fellow Independent Mick Wallace were instrumental in voicing issues relating to garda whisteblowers, have called for Shatter to step down.

“They were a double-act,” Daly told The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, calling it a “very unhealthy relationship.”

United they stood, united they must fall.

Responding to questions on how the Minister will now handle the fallout from the resignation, Daly said Shatter might blame the former Commissioner for issues in the force “because he has not taken responsibility for his actions” in this situation.

“He has rowed back, but not in a dignified or just way.”

Fianna Fáil TD and PAC Chairman John McGuinness called for the Minister’s resignation on the same programme.

“Some people argue that the minister has been a good Minister for Justice,” Mick Wallace told reporters at Leinster House, “but he has made a complete dog’s dinner of his portfolio in policing.”

He said that despite repeated opportunities to introduce accountability into the force, “he failed to use the best legislation available to him”.

The Minister is the boss of the Commissioner. The fish rots from the head.

Wallace also called for a “complete root and branch” review of the garda force, with a new Commissioner from “outside the Republic”.

Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson said Shatter had “led a campaign which has been an unprecedented politicisation of An Garda Síochána.


(Video Credit: Hugh O’Connell/TheJournal.ie)

United Left TD Joan Collins and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams tweeted a similar calls:

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(@JoanCollinsTD/Twitter)

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(@GerryAdamsSF/Twitter)

Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin called Callinan’s resignation “a sad end to a depressing saga” and said Shatter’s position as Justice Minister is “untenable”

Speaking to Today with Seán O’Rourke, he said that he “would have preferred if the remarks were withdrawn”.

“Shatter must take a significant portion of the blame. He has handled these controversies in appalling manner.”

I think he has not been fully accountable to the Dail and has stubbornly refused to withdraw comments he made to the Dail

“He should make a comprehensive statement on the matter,” he added.

Sinn Féin’s justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaighgh said that Shatter should resign it doesn’t “stand by the whisteblowers”.

Independents

A group of six independents all said that Shatter should quit.

“I think the Minister should accept total responsibility and resign immediately,” said Finian McGrath.

“The arrogance of the Minister for Justice will be his downfall,” added John Halligan, while Thomas Pringle said that the handling of the situation meant that Shatter should resign.

Richard Boyd Barrett said Shatter and Callinan had “disgracefully tried to demonise those who had tried to speak out about wrongdoing in the gardaí”, adding that he believed Shatter should follow Callinan and resign.

Joan Collins said called on Shatter to resign, saying he had tried to diminish the role of whistleblowers.

Catherine Murphy said today was a “good day for whistleblowers”.

Luke Ming Flanagan said it would be “a good day for the Justice Department” if Shatter resigned. He said if Shatter went, it would not change government attitudes.

Additional reporting by Hugh O’Connell and Paul Hosford. Originally published 12.09pm.

Reaction: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has resigned >

Explainer: 6 reasons why Martin Callinan resigned as Garda Commissioner >

Catch up: Everything you need to know about GardaGate in one place >

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