Ireland’s leader Enda Kenny has confirmed that Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice, has resigned following the report of Seán Guerin regarding allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe, that hundreds of police records were “erased and falsified”.
Shatter’s position has been under pressure in recent months following a series of controversies. These included the Garda Síochána [Police] Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) bugging scandal, alleged improper cancellation of driver’s penalty points, police whistleblower controversies and a breach of data protection regarding Wexford Independent TD Mick Wallace.
Following Shatter’s resignation Kenny announced that a special commission of investigation will be established to examine the handling of McCabe’s serious allegations against the Irish police.
The 300-page report points out Shatter’s inadequate response, under his statutory function, for independent analysis. This is the reason behind his resignation.
In a letter to Kenny, Minister Shatter has taken responsibility and stated Guerin’s report was his reason for stepping down. Kenny announced that the report will be published on Friday, May 9. A replacement for the Minister will be announced on Tuesday evening.
Kenny called the report, which he said deals with the police and to a lesser extent the Minister for Justice, was hard hitting. He said the report came to the conclusion that there was inadequate analysis by a variety of agencies. Guerin has not spoken to GSOC.
He pointed out that this report came out of concerns that Shatter had raised and said his output would stand the test of time.
Micheál Martin, leader of the Fianna Fáil party, said the Opposition parties in parliament should have been informed of the report. He said the news had caused a significant degree of surprise and shock. He asked if there had been consultation with the deputy leader, Eamon Gilmore and when the opposition could expect to receive a copy of the report, which will be published on Friday.
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