Taoiseach says he is '100%' behind Justice Minister

Sunday 19 May 2013 21.43
Mick Wallace said he plans to make a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission about Alan Shatter's comments
Mick Wallace said he plans to make a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission about Alan Shatter's comments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is 100% behind the Minster for Justice in the row over remarks Alan Shatter made about Independent TD Mick Wallace.

Speaking in Boston, the Taoiseach said the minister was making the point that someone cannot say that there should be no discretion used and at the same time avail of it.

Mr Kenny also said the minister is not in a position where he is collecting files on an individual.

Earlier, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said there is public interest in knowing that those who are accusing gardaí of widespread corruption are beneficiaries of a system they said was corrupt.

His remarks follow calls for Mr Shatter to resign over comments he made about Mr Wallace on RTÉ's Prime Time last week.

Mr Shatter said he had been advised that Mr Wallace had been using his mobile while driving, but he had received only a garda warning.

Mr Wallace said he was unaware of the incident, but Mr Shatter’s allegation represented a serious abuse of his powers.

The Wexford TD said he plans to make a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Minister Bruton said the controversy surrounding the matter was unfounded.

However, Fianna Fáil's Willie O'Dea described Minister Shatter's actions as "vindictive".

Independent TD Clare Daly said the minister had a lot of explaining to do and expected that the issue would dominate in the Dáil next week.

Speaking on the same programme, she said there should be an independent inquiry into the whole penalty points controversy.

Ms Daly said it is "quite sinister" that if there was a minor incident somewhere, that somebody had kept a record of it and the Minister for Justice "chose to use it and release that personal data".

The Department of Justice said this evening that Minister Shatter will comment on the matter tomorrow.