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Fianna Fáil tables Dáil motion of no confidence in Alan Shatter

TDs will debate Fianna Fáil’s motion on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the party saying Shatter’s position is untenable.

TDs will debate Alan Shatter's performance on Tuesday and Wednesday - but are unlikely to get a chance to vote on FF's motion.
TDs will debate Alan Shatter's performance on Tuesday and Wednesday - but are unlikely to get a chance to vote on FF's motion.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL has tabled a Dáil motion of no confidence in the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.

The motion will be debated by TDs next Tuesday and Wednesday, with a final vote on Wednesday evening.

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Niall Collins said Shatter’s position had become untenable following his disclosure of a Garda incident involving Mick Wallace.

“The Minister has shown extremely poor judgement of late. In particular, he used private information he received from the Garda Commissioner to undermine an opposition TD on Prime Time last week,” Collins charged this afternoon.

“Minister Shatter’s behaviour last week was frankly a disgrace.

“It was made even worse yesterday when it was confirmed that Minister Shatter decided to keep his own encounter at a Garda checkpoint under cover.”

Shatter is facing separate investigations by the Data Protection Commissioner and the Standards in Public Office Commission over whether it was appropriate for him to be given information about a Garda encounter involving another TD, and whether it was ethical to disclose those details in public.

Collins said all of this had come while Shatter had overseen the closure of 100 Garda stations, forcing morale in the police force to an all-time low, and while the government’s relationship with Ireland’s judges had become so poor that a new forum was needed to mediate between the two.

“All of these actions indicate that the Minster is no longer suitable to be Minister for Justice and Defence,” Collins said.

The motion is unlikely to be passed – Dáil rules are designed to allow the government table a counter-motion, likely to be complementary to Shatter and supporting his performance to date, which will be voted on instead.

This means that Fine Gael and Labour backbenchers, who may have been tempted to back Fianna Fáil’s motion, will not get the opportunity – and will instead be asked to affirm a much more palatable alternative.

Interestingly, the motion affirms no confidence in Shatter in either of his ministerial roles – he holds two, one for Defence and the other for Justice and Equality – and the Dublin South TD would be expected to leave both positions if the motion was passed.

Read: Shatter: ‘I was breathalysed, but hadn’t done anything wrong’

More: Commissioner told Shatter about Mick Wallace’s encounter with Gardaí

Full text: I made comments ‘to defend the integrity of An Garda Síochána’

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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