Justice under Alan Shatter: the wheels come off


Not content with squeezing the people of the south financially until the pips squeaked, the Fine Gael/Labour coalition have now revealed themselves as people who run a state where the guardians of the law and their boss are about as competent as Homer Simpson after a night in a brewery. Where to start?

1.  The gardaí were running a system where drivers who got into trouble on the penalty points system could, if they were well enough connected, get someone probably higher up in the gardaí to wipe their slate clean. If they weren’t well enough connected, tough titty. Hardly equality under the law/cherishing all the children of the nation equally, wouldn’t you say?

2. The discussions, telephone calls and emails of the office of the Garda Ombudsman were found to have been hacked. So the communication of people who might have been keeping the gardaí in line is  illegally penetrated by…well, who can say? I suppose someone with an interest in the doings of the Garda Ombudsman’s office. Go figger.

3. The gardaí were running a system whereby the telephone discussions – thousands of them – coming into and going out of many garda stations were taped. That’d include confidential discussions between someone being charged and their solicitor. This is against the law and has been going on for a long time, so potentially thousands of cases where people were found guilty may now at best be questionable.

4. The Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan wrote to the Department of Justice pointing out this appalling practice and asking specifically that the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter,  be informed. That was over two weeks ago. Astonishingly, Mr Shatter didn’t get the letter until Monday. You believe that? No, don’t answer. Your reply could be bugged.

5. The Fianna Fail leader, Micheál Martin, is very upset about all this and is calling for heads to roll. The letter sent by Callinan shows that this bugging by garda stations was something that stretches back into the 1990s. And who was in government in the 1990s? Why our old comrades in arms, the Soldiers of Destiny themselves, Fianna Fail. And who was in the Cabinet for three years during the 1990s? Why sure who else would it be only the bould Micheál himself. But of course neither Micheál nor his party, fabled for their moral integrity, would have known anything about any bugging. Honest, Your Honour. Which is why all this comes as such an ethical shock to Micheál.

I wonder now will unionists believe northern nationalists and republicans, when they say a united Ireland would not, repeat not, involve the north being swallowed whole by the south.

12 Responses to Justice under Alan Shatter: the wheels come off

  1. John Patton March 26, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Solid evidence, Jude, and with a name like Shatter, you scrupulously resisted temptation. Gilbert and Sullivan must take a back seat to this farce. Thankfully, things where you live are all astringently clinical and transparent. Scotland has just got a single Police force for efficiency and service purposes. It has the capability of developing a momentum of its own in the manner demonstrated by the Gardaí Síochana. NSA must have had fun listening to the listeners!

  2. paul March 26, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Thank you for this column. Shatter( irony), Martin, Noonan, Kenny, should form a band, called Enda and the Pinochio’s. The last time any of them told the truth I was a young man. I guess the blame will ultimately come doen on SF, after all isn’t everything their fault in Enda’s eyes?
    Time for these boys , Shatter and al to go to the land of misfit toys. PS Robinson and a few of his crew would fit right in in the southern hierarchy, their propensity for telling lies is legendary

  3. philip kelly March 26, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Is it my old age and memory but was I here before ? do i see a government again hanging out all in sundry to save themselves and their jobs while decent people are lambasted including the whistle blowers.
    brings back memories of Jack Lynch, Jim Gibbons, and Dessie O Malley the 1970 arms trial and the destruction of peoples lives including Capt James Kelly, john Kelly and most important the nationalist people of the north
    the corruption of the free state knows no boundaries of time or morality

  4. paddykool March 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Jude : I’ll probably finish that second season of “Game of Cards” tonight. Two episodes to go methinks…conspiracy…conspiracy …conspiracy….

    In my dotage I do believe I’ve reached that thoroughly unshockable stage first -spawned by my torchlit under the covers reading of “Mad” magazine as a child.

    Even my barber , this morning was extolling the now known” fact” that the Americans didn’ t actually land on the moon in 1969. He reckons the Chinese got there first but didn’t want to blow about it , ..but the yanks agenda was to cock a hoop at Russia so they filmed the whole “moon landing” in a sealed Hollywood studio. . what did they do with the Chinese flag ? he wanted to know……and as for that plane that they’re searching for now. with all those poor Chinese. people onboard…we’ll that was blown out of the sky and covered up because it was due to be flown into another terrorist Twin towers scenario….

    Where does the fact and the fiction diverge?..i really should visit my barber more often…

    • Antonio March 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

      this post mad me laugh out loud Paddykool . He must have have watched that documentary that was shown on Channel 5.

      Reading this immediately brought me back to a taxi driver who was explaining the politics of the world to me and its inherent Machiavellianism ((my word not his)) who said ”now I’m not being anti-semitic here but those Jews own & run America..”

  5. Iolar March 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    The impartial administration of justice is the core issue in this debate. Over the years An Garda Síochána, provided an unarmed police service. An Garda Síochána had the support of the vast majority of citizens. Voters have serious issues to consider during this current political crisis. Machiavellian politics and political dogmatism will continue to damage the body politic if the current government proceeds on its current course. Citizens need to regain trust in the political process. The whistleblowers who precipitated the current political controversy deserve credit and they have made a significant and distinguished contribution to political life. That is the way forward.

  6. michael c March 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Mehole Martin had the affrontery to lecture SF about protesting over Padraig Wilson’s arrest ,stating that “down here politicians don’t interfere in the judicial process” For anyone unfamiliar with the Dowra affair ,in the 1980’s, A FF justice minister (now deceased) arranged for the RUC to arrest a witness against his relative on the morning of the relevant court case.!

  7. AndyB March 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I think a better Simpsons comparison would have been Chief Clancy Wiggum…

  8. Virginia March 27, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Really Jude? What would they say?

    • Jude Collins March 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      That a ‘ united Ireland would not, repeat not, involve the north being swallowed whole by the south’. I thought I’d said that, Virginia. To elaborate a little: nationalists/republicans find the state of the southern state just as obnoxious as I imagine most unionists do. A united Ireland would bring the much-needed injection of the six counties to a new all-Ireland state which would create not a north + south or a south-swallows-north but a new grown-up better state.

      • Virginia March 28, 2014 at 3:10 am #

        Or, they might say no thank you.

  9. michael c March 27, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    People must realise that since the creation of the Free State ,there has existed a species known as “the thick guard” and most of Shatters difficulties arise from this.