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Alan Shatter hits out at media coverage of judges' appointments

The justice minister said negative stories risk discouraging people from taking important public-sector positions.

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has condemned media coverage of two judges recently appointed to the High Court, calling it “completely untrue and grossly unfair”.

In an unusual intervention, Minister Shatter criticised a story in the Irish Independent concerning the selection of Michael White and Kevin Cross to the court this week. He said there was an “obsessive focus” in the media on “undermining the reputation of decent people”, and suggested this was done for “the short-term benefit of a cheap headline”. The minister continued:

It seems that the decency, competence and integrity of individuals appointed to undertake onerous duties for the benefit of the State and its citizens, and the integrity of those who make such appointments, is to be consistently targeted and undermined by some sections of the media regardless of the facts or consequences of such targeting.

Mr Shatter said the two men had been appointed because of their skills and experience, citing the “competence and excellence” of circuit judge Michael White and the “impeccable credentials” of Kevin Cross SC.

He added that negative media coverage risks discouraging “well-qualified competent individuals” from taking positions in the public sector.

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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