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Alan Shatter wants Dáil record changed in wake of O'Higgins report

He said today that he wants the Dáil record to be cleared as the Guerin report had been accepted in full.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

ALAN SHATTER WANTS the Dáil record changed after the O’Higgins report cleared him of any wrongdoing in his handling of allegations of garda corruption and malpractice.

Shatter had stepped down in the wake of the Guerin report, saying last week that the Taoiseach effectively gave him no other choice but to resign.

In a statement today, Shatter welcomed that the O’Higgins commission concluded that, when Minister for Justice, he took “very seriously” the complaints and allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe in 2012, and that there were “compelling considerations” which justified his response to them.

Shatter said that he is “relieved that the truth has been established”.

The Guerin Report – which concerned the Cavan-Monaghan garda division – was accepted in full by the Government and the Taoiseach put on the Dáil record its conclusions concerning Shatter’s conduct as Minister for Justice.

Allegations made by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe had brought about the investigation.

After the report’s release, it was slammed by Shatter:

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

Now the former minister says that if the government accepts the O’Higgins Commission findings in full, the Taoiseach now has a duty to correct the Dáil record.

When asked about the request, the Taoiseach said:

I am glad that the report confirms that the former Minister did his work well, it makes that very clear. Obviously there is a case before the court of appeal which doesn’t allow me to comment on the Guerin report until that court of appeal makes its judgement, [but] I’m glad to see Alan has had his work as minister confirmed by the O’Higgins Report.

“New chapter”

Shatter said that he hopes that with the publication of the O’Higgins report, he “can now move on to a new chapter”.

He has consistently disputed the approach of Sean Guerin SC in the conduct of his inquiry.

“The Government also has a duty to ensure the now discredited adverse conclusions and opinions contained in the Guerin Report are acknowledged to be in error and corrected and that the report is withdrawn from circulation in its present form,” he said.

Shatter said he will be writing to the Taoiseach on issues following on from publication of the O’Higgins Report and “seeking a substantive response”.

The O’Higgins commission concluded that victims were ‘not well served’ by gardaí in the Cavan-Monaghan division between 2007 and 2008.

A senior government official said Kenny accepted the Guerin report as did the government at the time of its publication. 

At the time of his resignation, the former Justice Minister said he was leaving office as he did not want to distract from the important work the government had to do.

He also expressed positive sentiments towards Enda Kenny, saying he was an “extraordinary Taoiseach doing an extraordinary job”.

- With reporting from Christina Finn

Read: Alan Shatter says Enda Kenny gave him ‘no choice’ but to resign>

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