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Shatter: Prime Time remarks were "a mistake"

Alan Shatter says that he may appeal the Data Protection Commissioner’s findings.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter may appeal the Data Protection Commissioner’s finding that he broke the law.

Billy Hawkes made the finding after Shatter revealed on RTÉ’s Prime Time that Deputy Mick Wallace had been cautioned by gardaí for holding a mobile phone while driving.

However, Shatter has the option of appealing the finding to the Circuit Court within 21 days, an option he says he is examining.

“I acknowledge the importance of the role played by the Data Protection Commissioner and the investigation conducted by him.

“As the Data Protection Commissioner recognises, both sides have a right of appeal and I am at present examining the decision closely with a view to taking any appropriate further legal steps as may be advised.

“The decision which the Data Protection Commissioner has made in this complex area of the law raises issues of fundamental importance which I believe need to be further considered in the public interest. I do not intend to comment any further at this time.”

Shatter said that he has apologised fully to Wallace, and that he has addressed the issue in the Dáil.

The remarks which I made on Prime Time were addressed by me in the Dáil last May in two debates in the course of which I had no hesitation in acknowledging it was a mistake to make them, I apologised fully to Deputy Wallace and acknowledged that if similar circumstances again arose I would not make the same mistake.

“I also explained why I made those remarks as I felt they were relevant to an allegation Deputy Wallace publicly made on an issue of importance in respect of An Garda Síochána.”

Read: ‘Shatter feels that he is above the law and should resign’ – Wallace

Read: Taoiseach and Tánaiste have confidence in Shatter despite Data Commissioner finding

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