Minister no reformer, but defender of status quo – Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has accused the Minister for Justice of "exacerbating public alarm" and "undermining public confidence in the administration of justice" over the possibility of illegal Garda recording of client-solicitor communications, and consequent compromised court proceedings, vacated verdicts and miscarriages of justice.
Speaking in support of the private members motion of no confidence in the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, Deputy McDonald said:
"Despite Government attempts at revisionism regarding his role in the recent series of controversies involving the Gardai, the Minister is in fact a central actor, and the author of a litany of catastrophes in this whole affair. He made a deliberate decision to defame the whistleblowers. He actively sought to minimise the concerns of GSOC. He misled the Dail. He allowed false statements to stand, correcting these only when politically expedient. His actions have helped to damage the moral authority of the Gardai that is necessary for them to command sufficient public confidence to do their job.
"The Minister is not part of the solution, he is part of the problem. His handling of this whole episode has been shambolic from the start. With respect to the Gardai at least, he has proven that he is not a reformer but a defender of the status quo. His public credibility is now set at zero. For this reason, it is time for him to go."