& Paul Neilan
As Minister for Justice Alan Shatter resigns from Government, a local TD has said history will judge him as an an "exceptional minister" but penalty points whistleblower John Wilson said the minister simply "had to go".
Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed to the Dáil this afternoon, May 7, that Deputy Shatter had resigned from his position as Minister at the Department for Justice after receiving the report of Seán Guerin into Sergeant Maurice McCabe's allegations.
The Taoiseach accepted Minister Shatter's resignation "with reluctance".
Mr Shatter, the Taoiseach said, has taken responsibility for the findings since the report is critical of the Department of Justice as well as a number of other agencies.
The deputy's resignation comes as fellow Oireachtas member Mick Wallace announced he was considering the possibility of pursuing legal action against Deputy Shatter. That arises out of comments the former Justice Minister made about the Independent TD last year, with the Data Protection Commissioner last night stating Deputy Shatter had broken the law by making them.
The Taoiseach was asked if other resignations are expected following Deputy Shatter's resignation, or if he had asked from the former Minister to step down. The Taoiseach said no on both counts.
Joe O'Reilly TD
Fellow Fine Gael member, backbencher and local Deputy Joe O'Reilly told The Anglo-Celt that history will judge Minister Shatter as an exceptional minister.
“On a personal level I want to wish Minister Shatter well, and to say I know he has gone through a very traumatic period.
“It is typical of the man that he would do what he would consider to be the honourable and right things. Minister Shatter is too much of a patriot to allow personal considerations to distract from the important business of restoring our country.
“We can never forget the extraordinary reforming legacy Minister Shatter has. He has been an exceptional Minister for Justice and a superb parliamentarian over the years.
“History will judge Minister Shatter as an exceptional minister who made a huge contribution from a legislative point of view and who had great personal conviction, courage and integrity. I wish him well in the future,” he said.
Penalty points whistleblower and Cavanman John Wilson said he took "no pleasure in the demise of any human being losing their job but he [Shatter] had to go".
"At the time of the resignation of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan I said that united they stood and united they had to fall. We will see the Guerin report in the next few days.
"I have been supportive of Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe for years and called for a full independent tribunal of inquiry into the alleged malpractice and now we finally have one.
"He [Shatter] couldn't have remained in his position and should have gone a long time ago. If it was in the North or the UK, he would have been gone within days. He minimised our allegations and was forced to correct himself and Dail record about incorrect statements about Maurice McCabe and myself not co-operating with the O'Mahony investigation. He had to go.
"Hopefully, his departure marks the beginning of a new era of transparency and accountability in the governance of this country," he said.
To read Minister Shatter's resignation letter, click: link.
Kathryn Reilly, Sinn Fein Senator for Cavan Monaghan was less impressed with the Minister’s record when she Tweeted this afternoon: “Poor Alan Shatter. Said no one ever.”
Mr Wilson will be on a special Prime Time tonight at 9.30pm.