Last night: He Is Among Us
Last night: He Is Among Us
Dawson Street, Dublin 2
Crime Journalist Paul Williams (pic 3) launches Frenzy And Betrayal: Anatomy Of A Political Assassination (Merrion Press) by former justice minister Alan Shatter at a reception in Hodges and Figgis.
Yesterday: Shatt On His Own Doorstep
Pics: Merrion Press
From top: Frenzy and Betrayal (top) by Alan Shatter, above right with Leo Varadkar in 2010
Alan Shatter launching his book this evening. Here’s a short extract in which he 🔥s the current Taoiseach pic.twitter.com/qMWG4WzvYs
— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) May 29, 2019
The ex-Dublin Rathdown TD writes at length about a now infamous speech given by Mr Varadkar at a road safety conference in March 2014.
Mr Varadkar called on then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw controversial remarks he made about the two Garda whistleblowers, Maurice McCabe and John Wilson.
The commissioner used the word “disgusting” in relation to the leaking of details of the scrapping of penalty points by the two men.
By contrast, Mr Varadkar described them as “distinguished” and suggested the Department of Justice was not properly investigating the allegations.
Mr Shatter was in Mexico on government business at the time and felt “ambushed” by the comments.
In his book, he claims Mr Varadkar chose to “entirely ignore” briefings from the Department of Justice on the actions being taken and the fact the issue had been referred to the Garda Inspectorate.
Mr Shatter says the RSA event was used “as a platform for a publicity-seeking piece of self promotion”.
“The speech also clearly promoted the false narrative that both Callinan and I had ‘turned a blind eye to McCabe’s complaints…”
“I believe that Varadkar was opportunistically reigniting a controversy, despite knowing the background to be more complex than the public could have understood or as presented by Opposition politicians and media commentators.”
He continued: “Varadkar was depicted as the handsome hero, Luke Skywalker, and Martin Callinan and I joined at the hip as Darth Vader, with the shadow of Maurice McCabe cast across the whole stage.”
Previously: Revenge Is A Cold Canapé
Friday: Frenzy In High Places
Thanks Maeve Convery
I Was Right Frenzy and Betrayal: The Anatomy of a Political Assassination (Irish Academic Press)
A new book by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter scheduled to be published on May 20.
The table of contents contain the headings:
Joined at the Hip
Vulnerabilities, Anomalies and Threats
The Media Frenzy Begins
Confusion Confounded and a Wandering Definitive
GSOC Unchained and Post-Truths
Insomnia, the Pink Panther and Inspector Gadget
Sticky Wickets and Rits Crackers!
Flying Empty Planes, Severed Hips and Rotting Fish
The Presumption of Guilt and Chasing Geese!
Cooking Cooke and the Invisible Leak
Along Comes Olly!
A Tangled Web and Armageddon
The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the?
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The Ides of March
Ticket Charges and Penalty Points
‘Real People Love the Shane and Mary Lou Show’
A Failed Prophet and a Ticking Time Bomb
‘Distinguished not Disgusting’
Entering a Parallel Universe
Garda Recordings Discovered
Oh what a Tangled Web
The Garda Commissioner Retires
Shedding Crocodile Tears
Tapegate, Twin Egos, Leo Lionised and God’s Earth
Fake News Irish-Style and Alternative Facts
The Arrogant and Perfidious Jew
The Guerin Report is Born
A Uniquely Irish Political Coup
Guerin v O’Higgins: The Truth Two Years Too Late
A Rush to Judgement, Legal Guff and Reformers Beware!
Complaints Upheld, Exaggerated, Unfounded and Withdrawn
Betrayal, Conscience, Excoriation and Vindication
The Rule of Law
Outside Looking In
Enda Kenny Resigns
The Resignations of Nóirín O’Sullivan and Frances Fitzgerald
The Disclosures Tribunal Reports
Closure and a Pyrrhic Victory
He seems to be getting over it.
H/T: Oireachtas Retort
Enda The Road.
TV3 Virgin Media One’s political correspondent Gavan Reilly‘s book on the nine-day downfall of former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, published by Mercier Press.
Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace on RTE’s Prime Time on May 16, 2013
You may recall how, back in May 2013, the then Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Independents 4 Change TD appeared on RTÉ’s Prime Time.
They were there to discuss a penalty points report by then Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney – which found there was no widespread quashing of penalty points.
In addition, the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had appeared at the Public Accounts Committee earlier that day.
During the Prime Time appearance, Mr Shatter accused Mr Wallace of having been stopped by the gardaí in May 2012 and that he had been on his phone while driving.
Mr Shatter claimed Mr Wallace had been advised by the guard who stopped him that a fixed ticket charge could be issued and that he could be given penalty points.
Mr Shatter also claimed Mr Wallace was warned not to do it again.
The claims on Prime Time were made almost a month after Gemma O’Doherty, in the Irish Independent, reported that, in July 2007, a car registered to the then Deputy Commissioner Martin Callinan – who was appointed to the position in January 2007 – was caught speeding on camera.
Ms O’Doherty reported the penalty points in relation to this incident were subsequently quashed.
After Prime Time, Mr Wallace told Pat Kenny that he was neither stopped nor warned.
“I was parked at the lights and a Garda vehicle came up beside me. And I was on the phone…which I know, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been on it. The guard..I rolled down the window, the guard rolled down his window. There was two guards there. And I said ‘oh’, I just had my hand up and they said ‘it’s OK’. And, left it at that. And we just, we made small talk after for maybe about 15/20 seconds and the lights went green and I drove on straight and they pulled out. The guards were friendly.”
Following what happened on Prime Time, and a subsequent complaint made by Mr Wallace, the Data Protection Commissioner ruled the disclosure made by Mr Shatter breached his duties under the Data Protection Act.
The Circuit Civil Court upheld this decision when Mr Shatter made an initial appeal.
However, Mr Shatter appealed again to the High Court.
Further to this…
Former minister for justice Alan Shatter has won his challenge to a finding that his disclosure of information about Independent TD Mick Wallace on a live TV programme, was a breach of his duties under the data protection act.
…Mr Shatter claimed the then Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes failed to set out the basis for his conclusion the information was personal data and had prejudged that issue and acted in breach of fair procedures.
Mr Shatter’s lawyers said he never had, or saw, any written record of the information communicated to him during a conversation with then Garda Commissioner Martin Callanan.
He said the information was “in his mind” only and what he said did not amount to “processing” it.
Previously: How Did He Know?
Alan Shatter and Enda Kenny in happier times
— Today Sean O'Rourke (@TodaySOR) March 3, 2017
— John Lee (@leeofthemail) March 3, 2017
It’s hard to listen to this alternative fact interview with Alan Shatter.
Either he’s mad or Enda Kenny is a weird delusional fruitcake.
— John Masterson (@theotriangle) March 3, 2017
More as we get it.
Former justice minister Alan Shatter
Former minister for justice Alan Shatter has won his legal challenge to the findings of the 2014 Guerin Report examining the handling of claims made by a garda whistleblower.
Mr Shatter appealed against the High Court’s dismissal of his challenge.
The Court of Appeal found in Mr Shatter’s favour this morning.
Mr Shatter claimed Senior Counsel Sean Guerin should have interviewed him before reaching adverse conclusions against him or should have allowed him to respond to draft conclusions.
…In his ruling, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Sean Ryan said, in his view, Mr Guerin was obliged to observe the rules of natural justice and of letting the other side be heard.
He said there was a breach of Mr Shatter’s rights because of the defective procedure that was adopted.
…The matter will come back before the Court of Appeal later this month to decide what orders or declarations the court should make.
Previously: ‘The Truth Has Been Established’
Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
Mr Shatter said that when he and he wife tried to “get away from all of this” for a holiday in France after his resignation he was “subjected to a tirade from an Irish guy” who had travelled on the same flight.”
‘sheet reader ‘Bonkers’ writes:
I’m sure you have seen the story on RTÉ and elsewhere about Alan Shatter saying he was spat at in public and abused “in an airport in another country”.
I can’t be 100% certain but he might have been referring to myself who challenged him in Gatwick Airport over his handling of the Garda whistleblowers. If it is myself he is referring to then, in my honest opinion, he is engaging in spin.
I addressed him respectfully as Deputy Shatter and asked him why he hadn’t taken [Garda whistleblower] Maurice McCabe’s complaints seriously.
Rather than engage with me and explain that he had (as he is now claiming) his immediate response was to go on the attack by saying “Who the fuck are you?”.
I was taken aback by this and as we got on the escalator in Gatwick I turned around and replied “I’m just a voter who was wondering how the Minister for Justice got taken down by a hippy builder in a pink shirt” (referring to Mick Wallace being instrumental in his resignation)
At this point Shatter was seething, I had made my point and left. But in no way was the conversation one of abuse, I approached him politely and asked a question to which he replied with expletives.
If anything he was the one abusing me and it certainly wasn’t the type of language you would expect out of a man whose is supposed to represent the people.
Anyway that’s just my own experience of asking Alan Shatter a question. It does amaze me how he has spun the incident a full 180 degrees though and its taken as fact by RTÉ and other media organisations….
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, right, and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter responds…
I want to thank Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins and his team for the manner in which the Commission’s investigation was conducted, their careful and thorough approach to establish the truth and to ensure the application of fair procedures.
I welcome that the O’Higgins Commission, having conducted an independent sworn statutory Commission of Investigation, has concluded that, when Minister for Justice, I took “very seriously” the complaints and allegations of 23rd January 2012, made by Sgt Maurice McCabe through the Confidential Recipient and that there were “compelling considerations” which justified my response to them. (These are detailed in Para 13.123 & 124 of the Commission’s Report).
Contrary to the Guerin Report’s assertion that I failed “to heed the voice” of Sgt McCabe, I also welcome that the O’Higgins Commission found that I had “very substantial concerns” about Sgt McCabes’ complaints and that at all times I dealt “professionally”, “promptly”, “reasonably” and “appropriately” with them.
Moreover, contrary to the Guerin Report, the O’Higgins Commission also found that I was “intimately” aware of the relevant applicable legislation, as were officials in the Department of Justice.
The O’Higgins Commission also rejects the contention of Sgt McCabe, given credence in the Guerin Report, that in my initially seeking a report from the Garda Commissioner on the serious allegations made by Sgt McCabe I was asking the Commissioner to “investigate himself”.
The Commission concludes that my doing so was “an obvious, prudent and sensible thing to do” and had I “acted otherwise” I would have been “open to justified criticism”.
I further welcome the conclusion that I “cannot be faulted” for “not taking further action” concerning a request for an inquiry, made in September 2012 by Sgt McCabe’s solicitors, “in circumstances where Sgt McCabe continued to assert a claim of confidentiality over relevant correspondence and enclosures”.
The Commission acknowledges this prevented the obtaining of “observations” from the then Garda Commissioner “as a preliminary step before deciding whether to establish such an inquiry”.
In fact, the Commission finds that my “personal input” in seeking to resolve this difficulty “displayed personal and active concern” on my part.
I am relieved that the truth has been established and that the O’Higgins Commission “unreservedly” accepted my evidence that I never held views, opinions or attitudes “wrongly attributed” to me by Mr Oliver Connolly, the former Confidential Recipient and recorded and transcribed by Sgt McCabe.
These got widespread currency and resulted in substantial controversy. The Report states that my evidence on this matter was “unchallenged and uncontradicted” in the hearing before the Commission. Both Sgt McCabe and Mr Connolly were present and legally represented at the relevant hearing.
One of the matters of major concern was the alleged Garda failings preceding the appalling murder of the late Sylvia Roche Kelly in 2007.
Charges made against me of ignoring the concerns of Sgt McCabe connected to this tragic event have now been independently established to be unfounded.
The O’Higgins Commission acknowledges that I was aware that a complaint had been made by Mr Lorcan Roche Kelly to GSOC which was engaged in an independent investigation into what occurred.
The Commission describes GSOC’s investigation as “thorough and necessarily lengthy” with certain aspects ongoing.
It is very regrettable that Mr Roche Kelly, prior to my appointment as Minister for Justice, as the Commission finds, was “not well served by the fact that a considerable period of time elapsed” in GSOC deciding whether it or An Garda Siochana on its behalf should conduct the required investigation and due to some confusion within GSOC as to the relevant statutory provisions.
In short, the findings of the O’Higgins Report, like the earlier Cooke and Fennelly Reports, have unequivocally established that, when Minister for Justice, I dealt properly and truthfully with Garda related matters that gave rise to substantial controversy in the Spring of 2014 and many false allegations by opposition politicians, including Micheal Martin, the Fianna Fail leader of the opposition.
The conclusions of the O’Higgins Commission totally contradict and are incompatible with the adverse findings made against me in the Guerin Report.
The O’Higgins Commission rightly praises Sgt McCabe for highlighting deficiencies in investigations, failures in procedures and practices, and poor conditions in Bailiboro Garda station.
It records that eleven, but not all of his complaints had previously been upheld by the internal Garda Byrne/McGinn Investigation concluded in 2010.
Some of the complexity of dealing with issues raised by Sgt McCabe is derived from the fact, as found by the O’Higgins Commission, that he is “prone to exaggeration at times”.
In this context, the Commission records that some of his complaints have been upheld by it whilst “others have proven to be overstated or exaggerated”.
Some of a very serious nature were determined to be “without foundation” or “any evidence” or “unreasonable”. A number of complaints of long duration were withdrawn during the course of the Commissions’ hearings.
The Commission found “there was not a scintilla of evidence” for his “hurtful” allegations that former Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, was guilty of corruption and arranged to have a Superintendent placed on a promotion list, this being the primary complaint received by me as Minister on 23rd January 2012 which was at the foundation of allegations made by Michael Martin on the Dail plinth and later in the Dail Chamber in February 2014.
What the Commission also described as “hurtful” allegations of corruption made against Asst Commissioner Byrne, Chief Superintendent Rooney and Superintendent Clancy and an implied allegation against Superintendant Cunningham were all also determined to be “unfounded”.
Of course, these allegations of corruption should never have been made.
Garda related events in which I was engaged, when Minister for Justice, which gave rise to substantial public controversy have now been examined by three different independent retired judges of our Superior Courts.
They have irrefutably established that serious charges and accusations made against me, both inside and outside the Dail, were entirely untrue.
For over two years, I have had to live with the public opprobrium, criticism and abuse they generated. I hope that with the publication of the O’Higgins Report, I can now move on to a new chapter.
It is clear from the O’Higgins Report that the Garda failings indentified in it occurred well before my appointment as Minister for Justice, at a time when Micheal Martin was in Government.
It is now for Micheal Martin to explain why, in February 2014, he chose to ignore that all of the matters detailed in Sgt McCabe’s letter of 23rd January 2012, save for the allegations of corruption against the Garda Commissioner, related to events that occurred in 2007/2008 when Fianna Fail was in Government, and why he chose, together with his Fianna Fail colleagues, to accuse me of “undermining the administration of Justice in the State” and to target me with a torrent of false allegations about my conduct as Minister for Justice.
The truth has now been irrefutably established. Now that we are in the era of “new politics”, I hope that Michael Martin and all of my accusers, then in opposition, will now reflect on how they dealt with these matters and withdraw on the Dail record the false allegations they made.
Before my resignation and in my resignation letter and also following publication of the Guerin Report in engagements with the Taoiseach and, later, on 19th June 2014, in the Dail Chamber, I disputed the approach of Mr Sean Guerin SC in the conduct of his Inquiry.
Both in my engagements with the Taoiseach and in the Dail Chamber, I disputed his findings against me.
My concerns were entirely ignored by the Taoiseach and my Dail contribution was not only ignored by all sides in the Dail Chamber, including the Minister for Justice, but also ridiculed and criticised by some commentators.
The Guerin Report was laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas, its flawed conclusions and opinions were accepted in full by the Government and the Taoiseach put on the Dail record its adverse conclusions concerning my conduct as Minister for Justice.
If the Government, as it must, accepts the O’Higgins Commission findings in full, the Taoiseach now has a duty to correct the Dail record.
The Government also has a duty to ensure the now discredited adverse conclusions and opinions contained in the Guerin Report are acknowledged to be in error and corrected and that the Report is withdrawn from circulation in its present form.
These are important issues of relevance to standards in public life, fair procedures and the importance of truth in politics. I will be writing to the Taoiseach on issues of relevance and importance following on from publication of the O’Higgins Report and seeking a substantive response.
Previously: Garda Confidential
Via Gavan Reilly