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DPC 'welcomes detailed analysis' by High Court after appeal by Alan Shatter upheld

The appeal concerned an infamous appearance by Shatter and Wexford TD Mick Wallace on RTÉ’s Prime Time in 2013.

1 Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace on Prime Time in May 2013 Source: RTÉ

Updated 4.24pm

THE DATA PROTECTION Commissioner (DPC) has said that she ‘welcomes’ the ‘detailed analysis’ carried out by the High Court after an appeal by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter was today upheld, overturning the DPC’s previous finding that he had been in breach of his duties while in office.

Previously, the DPC had held that Shatter, in mentioning his understanding that TD Mick Wallace had been cautioned by gardaí for allegedly using a mobile phone while driving, had been in breach of his duties under the Data Protection Act.

Shatter was Minister for Justice between 2011 and 2014. He had previously failed in an appeal regarding that finding to the Circuit Civil Court.

However, today’s decision by the High Court has seen the ruling of the lower court overturned.

“The Commissioner notes the High Court’s judgment and welcomes the Court’s
detailed analysis of the complex issues that arose in the case,” a spokesperson for DPC Helen Dixon said in the aftermath of today’s decision.

The Commissioner will now carefully consider that analysis.
No further comment will be made while that process is ongoing.

Shatter himself said that he also ‘welcomes’ both the judgement and “the High Court confirming that I did not as Minister for Justice in any comment I made breach in any way the Data Protection Act”.

“I also welcome the finding that the Data Commissioner prejudged the issue and that I was denied fair procedures in the manner in which he dealt with the complaint,” he told TheJournal.ie.

Wexford TD Mick Wallace had made a complaint to the DPC in the wake of an RTÉ Prime Time interview with both himself and Shatter in May 2013, on which the former Fine Gael representative said that he had been informed about the allegations against Wallace by then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

A number of civil court actions taken by Wallace over the same complaint have yet to be heard.

The full High Court decision in this case can be read here

Read: Tánaiste says she was ‘disturbed’ and ‘disappointed’ by Halligan’s comments during interview

Read: Apple and Google to be asked to appear before the PAC to explain their tax affairs

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