Responding to the resignation of Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD said that both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, had recently voted confidence in him and resisted all suggestions from Sinn Féin and others to deal with the debacles surrounding the embattled Justice Minister.
Mr Adams said Minister Shatter was not on his own in attempting to undermine the concerns of GSOC about bugging or in other controversies and that the Taoiseach and Tanaiste had resolutely stood by him in relation to these issues.
The Sinn Féin Leader also criticised the Taoiseach for failing to explain to the Dáil the real reasons for Minister Shatter’s resignation. His letter of resignation, part of which Teachta Adams read out in the Dail, clearly stated it was precipitated by a desire not to involve the Government in further controversy or create difficulties for Fine Gael and Labour in the Local and EU elections.
This, Teachta Adams said, was another example of the government putting the interests of party before those of citizens.
Gerry Adams said:
“This resignation comes as we await the outcome of separate investigations into the bugging controversy at the GSOC offices and claims of Garda malpractice by Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
“It also follows a period in which Minister Shatter’s judgement on a whole range of serious justice and policing issues has undermined public confidence in the administration of justice and the Gardai
“Minister Shatter has not merely presided over this recent series of controversies but is a central actor and the author of this litany of catastrophes.
“It was the Minister who decided to make derogatory remarks that undermined the two Garda whistleblowers, who misled the Dail, who allowed false statements to stand, correcting these only when politically expedient, who actively sought to minimise the concerns of GSOC that its offices were being bugged.”
Gerry Adams also pointed out that in 2009, Enda Kenny tabled a motion of no confidence in Fianna Fail Defence Minister Willie O'Dea over his role defaming Sinn Féin council candidate Maurice Quinlivan.
“Although the same rationale should apply to Minister Shatter, he said that as recently as yesterday evening the Toaiseach and Tanaiste were fully supporting the Justice Minister.
“You, like Tammy Wynette, were standing by your man.
“If he hadn’t resigned he would still be your Minister for Justice. But this is bigger than the Minister. We have suggested that there needs to be a way of de-politicising these things and preventing these catastrophes, but you failed to do that. Minister Shatter is not the only culpable one.”