Taoiseach asked to end state's legal defence of Guerin report

Alan Shatter wants report's now discredited findings quashed

Taoiseach asked to end state's legal defence of Guerin report

Alan Shatter | Photocall file photo

Former justice minister Alan Shatter has asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny to withdraw the state's legal defence in his case over the Guerin report.

The former Fine Gael TD is appealing the High Court's refusal to quash parts of the now discredited report into the handling of complaints by whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

A second report into claims of garda malpractice and corruption in the Cavan-Monaghan division published yesterday found Mr Shatter had taken Mr McCabe’s allegations “very seriously”.

The O’Higgins commission concluded that Mr McCabe had “acted out of genuine and legitimate concerns” but that many of his allegations were either unfounded or overstated.

Mr Shatter said in a letter to Mr Kenny that the report had “unequivocally established” that he “dealt properly and truthfully” with concerns that gave rise to controversy in the spring of 2014, leading to his resignation as minister.

“The conclusions of the O’Higgins commission totally contradict and are incompatible with the adverse findings made against me in the Guerin report,” he said.

“I am surprised that neither you nor Frances Fitzgerald acknowledged that in your comments yesterday. On such a serious issue affecting a former colleague in government, I expected this would be acknowledged.”

Mr Shatter said it was not in the state’s “public interest” to support a defence of “conclusions and opinions shown to be in serious error” in the appeal, which is scheduled to take place on June 21st in the Court of Appeal.    

“I believe it is in the public interest, following on from the O’Higgins report, that these proceedings be rightly resolved without the necessity for a further contested court hearing,” he said.

“As your Department is the responsible Department in this matter, I believe it is reasonable that I ask that you address this issue,” he said.

A spokesperson for Mr Kenny said the letter had been received and would be replied to in due course.