Alan Shatter wins appeal against data protection decision

The initial finding related to information he disclosed about Independent TD Mick Wallace

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Alan Shatter. Image: RollingNews.ie

Alan Shatter has won an appeal against a finding that he breached his duties under the Data Protection Act when he was Minister for Justice.

The finding related to information he disclosed about Independent TD Mick Wallace during a live TV programme about the penalty points controversy in 2013.

On May 16th 2013, Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace appeared on Prime Time to discuss the penalty points controversy.

Deputy Wallace claimed it was unlawful for a Garda to exercise discretion, but then Minister for Justice disagreed and said this live on air:

A political controversy erupted afterwards, with Deputy Shatter being accused of abusing his position for political gain.

Deputy Wallace made a complaint to the then Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes and an investigation got underway.

One year later, Mr Hawkes concluded Deputy Shatter was a data controller and was in breach of his duties under the relevant acts.

A Circuit Court judge upheld his decision in January 2015 and even ruled he had no legal standing to bring an appeal.

That decision was rejected by the High Court today.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan also decided she was wrong to say Mr Hawkes followed fair procedure in his investigation and in the application of the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Acts.