Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he deplores statements attacking the judiciary following the publication of the Moriarty Tribunal report.

Mr Justice Moriarty's findings and work have been strongly criticised by Independent TD Michael Lowry and businessmen Denis O'Brien and Ben Dunne.

Mr Shatter described the criticisms as 'unprecedented' and said they were designed to bring the judiciary into disrepute and to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.

He said: 'Our judiciary play a crucial role in upholding the constitutional rights of individuals, rich or poor, without fear of, or favour to any one individual or the State itself.

'The independent and impartial role of the judiciary and their constitutional status precludes the judiciary from responding to the intemperate attacks that have occurred.

'Statements which endanger public confidence in our judiciary and in our courts are entirely unacceptable and are to be deplored.'