- 07 Nov 17
Alan Shatter’s political career came crashing down, when he was forced to resign as Minister for Justice in 2014. The former Fine Gael TD believes that he was cynically betrayed by the ex-Taoiseach Enda Kenny – and by the party. In a powerful interview to coincide with the publication of his new memoir, there burns an incendiary indignation – and a fierce scepticism about the new Fine Gael. Interview: Jason O’Toole
After wrapping up several hours of an in-depth interview spread over two days, Alan Shatter is in a good mood. “You have enough there to generate some degree of controversy,” he says with a grin.
The retired politician knows what he is talking about. He is used to hitting the headlines – most dramatically when, in March 2014, under pressure from the then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny, he resigned as Minister for Justice and Equality, following criticism in the (Seán) Guerin Report concerning a series of Garda controversies. Alan Shatter’s actions as Minister were subsequently vindicated by the O’Higgins Commission, and in the Court of Appeal. But the fall-out from those events rumbles on, with a Supreme Court appeal, taken by Seán Guerin, looming. It’s an issue about which, during the interview, he expresses an incendiary outrage.
Under the shadow of those events, Alan – first elected to the Dáil in 1981 – lost his South Dublin seat in the 2016 General Election. Since then, he has turned his hand to writing. An old pro at the scribbling game, he is the author of four major academic books on Irish family law. He also wrote the satire Family Planning Irish Style, published in 1979 and Laura, a novel about a TD who gets his secretary pregnant and cajoles her into going to England for an abortion.