“dependent on the goodwill of those in FG headquarters who wield too much power…”

Some farewell card for Leo from Alan Shatter, as he leaves politics… From my personal experience over the last 3 years I could not in good conscience ask the electorate in Dublin- Rathdown constituency and those who have voted for me in the past to vote for an unreformed Fine Gael in the next Dail. I have reached this conclusion after lengthy reflection with a heavy heart after many years of Fine Gael membership, including over 30 years as a … Read more

Politicians and silly expenses claims

In the news today we are told that Alan Shatter claimed €12 for passport photos on his expenses and also for injections he had to take before travelling. Now, let’s be honest here this isn’t the biggest news in the world. Nor will the country be facing ruination over the claim. It is far from the worst thing any politician has done. It does, however, raise the issue of expenses again. There will be a rush of people to slam … Read more

Poll of Polls 2014: FG/Lab/FF down, SF up and Independents most popular group in Ireland

Well it’s nearly over, 2014 Ireland had the local and European elections, a Cabinet Reshuffle, resignations and another budget as the current government cross the halfway mark in this term of office. So, how have the parties been performing over the past year? I took a look at the various RedC polls that have been conducted throughout the year. In terms of overall party support here is how each party has been performing since 2013. Fine Gael-25.8% (-2.3%) Labour-8.2% (-2.8%) … Read more

Seems like no one has been ‘minding’ the Guards for years…

If you want to get a measure of the trouble both the Minister of Justice and now the Attorney General (the second case of a key office holder avoiding making a report to said Minister of Justice) is, this contribution from Independent TD Stephen Donnelly at Leader’s Questions this morning. As other stories began to fade out came this: It is understood that recording devices installed in the 1980s at the country’s main stations were routinely taping conversations. Although their … Read more

#Shatter: “…the prologue should have had a Greek chorus chanting the Government’s promises…”

As my old friend RG Gregory says in a forthcoming book of his, in Greek times Tragedy recorded the consequences of “humanity’s struggle to outface the gods’. Alan Shatter has been one of the more capable ministers in the Republic’s government, although therein may lie the seeds of his own downfall. Eoghan Harris lays out a plot line sifted out of recapitulations throughout the last two weeks: Shattergate is best seen as a Greek tragedy which has not yet reached … Read more

This is why Alan Shatter is in really BIG trouble…

The role of any Justice Minister in any jurisdiction is by definition a thankless task, but I think this from John Burns of the Sunday Times is well worth sharing… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Garda Recipient gone, the pressure now moves onto Minister Shatter…

Yesterday’s leaders questions was once of those explosive occasions when you don’t quite get the extent of it at the time its happening. It’s clear from today’s front pages that Micheál Martin’s virtual bomb yesterday was well placed. Deputy Micheál Martin: Last week I read elements of the transcript of a conversation between the Garda confidential recipient, Mr. Oliver Connolly, and a Garda whistleblower, Mr. Maurice McCabe, such as how, if the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Alan Shatter, … Read more

“If Shatter thinks you are screwing him, you’re finished…”

So as the Taoiseach apologises for going after the Garda Ombudsman Commission (if  not for being more than a little sloppy with the actualite). John Mooney of the Irish edition of the Sunday Times on RTE’s Late Debate programme (transcript on broadsheet.ie) went on to suggest that the Garda Commissioner may not be in complete control of all his troops. The real puzzle here is not just why the Taoiseach was so quick to jump down the throat of the GSOC, but … Read more

“given the particular operational emphasis of this year’s conference…”

According to a Belfast Telegraph report, unlike previous years, neither the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, nor the Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, will attend this year’s cross-border police summit on organised crime co-operation.  From the Belfast Telegraph report Mr Shatter said that, given the particular operational emphasis of this year’s conference, it would be more appropriate for the Garda Commissioner and the PSNI Chief Constable to take the lead. Rather than attend the conference, the two ministers, the Commissioner … Read more

Parliamentary written answer of the week

Another in an occasional series.  An ill-conceived written question can be an opportune moment to remind the questioner of legal technicalities in the State he is in.  From Dáil written answers 3 July. 180. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedures used by an Garda Síochána when establishing the marital status of a Brazilian citizen living here who proposes to get married in this State; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [32318/13]  184. Deputy Gerry Adams asked … Read more

Taoiseach could do with answering some of the questions he once aimed at Michael McDowell?

Funniest moment of the weekend was when Sean O’Rourke took the sugar off Willie O’Dea’s wee bun when he mentioned Michael McDowell’s behaviour (blogged by George for Slugger at the time) over his intervention under remarkably similar circumstances to Alan Shatter’s stroke against Mick Wallace on last Thursday’s PrimeTime (12 minutes in)… Though, as Broadsheet point out, it is the Taoiseach that’s in the more precarious position having condemned McDowell’s precipitative action against Frank Connolly and the Centre for Public … Read more

Irish Justice Minister: “a tribute to how far we have come as a society”

As promised by the Irish Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, in June last year, legislation has been passed by Dáil and Seanad providing for the granting of an amnesty and apology for the way the Irish State treated members of its Defence Forces who left to join the Allied Forces during World War II.  I’ve noted previously the historical debate in Dáil Éireann in 1945.  From the Irish Times report In his closing statement on the Defence Forces (Second World War Amnesty and Immunity Bill 2012) to … Read more

“Those who fought on the Allied side also contributed to protecting this State’s sovereignty and independence and our democratic values.”

Success, then, for the Irish Soldiers Pardon (WW2) Campaign.  I’ve noted previously the historical debate in Dáil Éireann in 1945.  Now, as the BBC reports, Defence Minister Alan Shatter has told the Dáil that the Irish government will introduce legislation “to grant a pardon and amnesty to those who absented themselves from the Defence Forces without leave or permission to fight on the Allied side” [added link]. The Irish Times report has more from the Irish Defence Minister’s statement Pointing out individuals were not given a chance … Read more

“Mr Varadkar said Ireland and Britain could become a ‘mini-Schengen'”

The Irish Times reports some odd comments by the Irish Government Tourism and Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar, at a meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly at Leinster House in Dublin.  Odd, that is, given what we already know.  From the Irish Times report Mr Varadkar said tourists and business visitors should not be forced to source one set of travel papers for the UK and a second set for th Republic. “This means that there are real opportunities to … Read more

Judge Smithwick: “I think this was singularly ill-advised.”

I had mentioned the apparent disagreement between the chair of the Smithwick Tribunal, Judge Smithwick, and the Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, over the latter’s proposed ‘deadline’, of 30 November, for the Tribunal’s final report. And in correspondence from the time, just released to the Oireachtas along with the Tribunal’s interim report [pdf file], Judge Smithwick made clear the extent of his disagreement. Judge Smithwick wrote to the Minister accusing him of a “wholly inappropriate” attempt to “interfere with the independence” of the inquiry. He … Read more