In a fiercely outspoken Hot Press Interview, the former Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, sets out why he believes he was cynically betrayed by ex-Taoiseach Enda Kenny following the Guerin Report – and skewers numerous other politicians in what is an extraordinarily powerful state of the nation address.
In what is a no-holds-barred interview in the new issue of Hot Press, the former Minister for Justice and Defence, Alan Shatter – who admits he’s something of a pariah within Fine Gael and says he felt like Darth Vader during the height of the Garda controversies – explains why he’d never have a pint with Enda Kenny.
He also suggests that the current Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is motivated primarily by self-promotion.
“I think, from my experience," Alan Shatter states, "Leo’s main focus in politics is self-promotion. Leo would adopt whatever view he thinks will benefit his own beneficial self- promotion.”
And he is dismissive of the Taoiseach's position on repealing the 8th Amendment to the constitution.
“I think he’ll make the decision based on his best interests – not necessarily on women’s best interests,” he says.
Alan Shatter insists that there is no real difference now between Fianna Fáil and the party he himself served since 1981. The former Minister for Justice accuses Fine Gael of now conducting a “phony war” with Fianna Fáil.
Hot Press also publishes for the first time a poem written by Alan Shatter about Donald Trump, which was written in February of this year - and which excoriated the President of the USA.
As Minister for Justice & Equality, it was part of Alan Shatter’s brief to draw up the Marriage Equality Bill – but he now claims that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar showed no interest in promoting it at the time. And he says the same of another Bill, which he drafted, that would’ve offered equality to homosexuals on the issue of surrogacy – but has ended up being buried by the Government.
He also tells Hot Press’ senior editor Jason O’Toole why he fears there could be a return to violence in Northern over the nightmare of Brexit, discusses a variety of death threats made against him, and calls on Sean Guerin to offer him a public apology for costing him his job as Justice Minister.
“If Mr. Guerin had any conscience, or any shame," he says, "instead of continuing to litigate this into the Supreme Court he would by now have publicly apologised to me for his mistaken conclusions. We may get to a point where a further inquiry may be necessary into how he did conduct that inquiry. I’ve no wish to prolong this issue, but I find it quite astonishing that he’s incapable of publicly admitting that when he conducted his informal inquiry, he reached mistaken conclusions in relation to me, and how he cannot find it within himself to apologise for the devastating impact on my life and my reputation of the conclusions he reached.”
Alan Shatter was forced to resign by Enda Kenny, following the publication of the Guerin Report. In the interview, he is fiercely scathing of Enda Kenny.
“He was entirely dishonourable in the manner in which he dealt with these issues,” He says – and a lot more besides.
"It would be impossible to capture the scale and breadth of what Alan Shatter has to say in the course of the interview," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes says. "Quite simply, it is one of the most powerful and articulate interviews we have ever published – or indeed that i have ever read. And there is no doubt that what he has to say will have a political impact. There are no holds barred. He is great on UK and US politics. But here in Ireland, it is what he has to say about domestic politics which should get people talking."
Other topics addressed during this hugely controversial Hot Press Interview include Alan’s thoughts on the 8th Amendment, the Harvey Weinstein controversy, Brexit and Donald Trump – as well, of course, as sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
You can read it in full in the new issue of Hot Press, which hits the streets tomorrow, with The Waterboys on the cover.
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