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Kenny corrects Dáil record over Alan Shatter's resignation

The Taoiseach said Shatter did NOT accept responsibility for the findings of the Guerin Report. .

File photo
File photo
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

ENDA KENNY HAS corrected the Dáil record in relation to comments he made about former Justice Minister Alan Shatter after the Guerin Report into Garda misconduct was published two years ago.

Speaking in Leinster House today, Kenny corrected the Dáil record from 7 May 2014, saying that Shatter did not accept responsibility for the findings of the report.

Kenny was opening the Dáil statements today on the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – which looked at allegations of Garda malpractice and the failings of gardaí to properly investigate crimes.

The Taoiseach said that he was “happy” to correct the Dáil record in the wake of the findings of the O’Higgins report.

“In response to a request from the former Minister, I would also like to take the opportunity to correct the Dáil record of 7 May 2014,” said Kenny.

I am happy to state on the record that the former Minister, in resigning, did not in fact accept responsibility for criticism made in the Guerin Report of the adequacy of the Department and Minister for Justice and Equality in responding to allegations made by Sergeant McCabe.

Two weeks ago, Shatter – who lost his seat in the recent election – released a letter that he had sent to the Taoiseach, requesting the Dáil record to be corrected following the publication of the O’Higgins report.

While the Guerin report had found that Shatter had failed in his duties to properly investigate allegations of corruption and malpractice in the force, the more recent O’Higgins report found that this wasn’t the case.

Shatter stepped down from his post at the time in the wake of the Guerin report.

Kenny said in the Dáil at the time that Shatter had accepted responsibility for the findings of the report – a statement he corrected today.

Thanks

Kenny thanked Shatter for his service as a minister today and as a TD.

“As Taoiseach I again thank [Alan Shatter] for his service as a minister and as a deputy over many years,” he said.

He said that Shatter had clearly laid out his reasons for leaving in his letter of resignation at the time – and that he had left a “positive legacy” behind him.

He said that other issues raised by Shatter in his letter to Kenny related to ongoing court action over the Guerin report and could not be discussed at this point.

“The Government will respond when that litigation is resolved, taking account of the relevant court judgements,” said Kenny.

“Entirely reasonable”

Following Kenny’s speech, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said it was important to recognise the “contribution that Alan Shatter has made to public life”.

“Far from finding the slightest fault with the approach of Alan to any of these serious matters, the report  uses descriptions such as ‘appropriate’ and ‘entirely reasonable’ to characterise his behaviour in all the matters involved,” she said.

This is a report that must be considered carefully in its totality, and we must learn all of the lessons from it.

The findings of the O’Higgins Report are being discussed today in the Dáil, with government and opposition TDs making statements on its findings.

Read: Alan Shatter says he was spat at and abused following his resignation

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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