Dáil to begin debate in Shatter motion of no confidence

The Dáil will today begin debating a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

The motion has been put down by Fianna Fáil, who will claim that the recent scandal surrounding the taping of phone calls to and from garda stations has left Alan Shatter unfit for office.

The opposition is expected to use the debate to pose further questions about the Government's handling of the taping controversy.

The motion being debated today and tomorrow, which will be voted on tomorrow night, is almost certain to be defeated, given how the cabinet has rallied around Minister Shatter in the last few days.

However, the three hours of Dáil debates will give the opposition a chance to launch another barrage of attacks on the under-fire minister.

They will use the time to exploit gaps in the Government's explanation about how the Garda tapes came to light.

They will question why Enda Kenny chose to employ a senior counsel to investigate the tapes before bringing the question to Minister Shatter:

They will ask how the Department of Justice failed to pass on a letter from Martin Callinan to Minister Shatter for two weeks, and why he only read it after last week's cabinet meeting.

And they will ask whether others are deliberately keeping the Minister out of the loop by not telling him about the Garda taping issue for four months after the true extent was revealed.

KEYWORDS: Alan Shatter
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