Alan Shatter welcomes court decision on Guerin report

Outside court today, Mr Shatter said he is delighted his court battle is finally over

Alan Shatter welcomes court decision on Guerin report

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter | Photocall file photo

The President of the Court of Appeal says he believes the State has an obligation to see that Alan Shatter’s constitutional rights are vindicated.

The comment was made in Mr. Justice Sean Ryan’s judgement on the reliefs he is entitled to after being denied the right of reply in the Guerin report.

Last November, the Court of Appeal decided Alan Shatter should have been asked for his version of events before Sean Guerin concluded he had not adequately handled allegations of Garda misconduct made by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Today, the court granted a declaration to say that Mr Guerin acted in breach of the requirements of natural justice in coming to the conclusions he did in a report.

The report led Mr Shatter’s resignation as Minister for Justice the day after its publication in 2014.

The court refused to force the Government into amending the report - but the President did say he believed it had an obligation to see that his constitutional rights are vindicated.

Mr Shatter said he hopes that happens sooner rather than later.

Costs were also awarded to Mr Shatter but a stay was put on them to allow Mr Guerin consider his position.

Outside court today, the former minister said he is delighted it is finally over.

"I am very pleased with the court decision," Mr Shatter said. "I am very pleased obviously to get an order for costs."

"I don't believe I should have had to spend almost three years of my life doing battle in the courts to establish that when there are allegations made against an individual, they are entitled to be heard in defence of those allegations."