|Minister for Justice and Equality|
9 March 2011
|Preceded by||Brendan Smith (Justice and Law Reform)|
|Minister for Defence|
9 March 2011
|Preceded by||Éamon Ó Cuív|
June 1981 – May 2002
|Born||Alan Joseph Shatter
14 February 1951
|Political party||Fine Gael|
|Spouse(s)||Carol Ann (Danker) Shatter|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Dublin|
Alan Joseph Shatter (born 14 February 1951) is an Irish Fine Gael politician. He is a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South constituency and has been the Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence since March 2011.
Background and early life
Born in Dublin to a Jewish family, Shatter is the son of Elaine and Reuben Shatter. He was educated at The High School, Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin. He has always lived in Dublin — he grew up in Rathgar and Rathfarnham and lives now in Ballinteer with his wife, Carol Ann (Danker) Shatter, and two children. He is the only Jewish member of Dáil Éireann.
Shatter owns several properties in the United States. He has been involved in an eviction row with a tenant of one of his properties in Florida. With interests in fifteen properties, Shatter has the largest property portfolio of any member of Ireland's cabinet.
Opposition politics (1981–2011)
Shatter was first elected to the Dáil at the 1981 general election, and was re-elected at each subsequent election until he lost his seat at the 2002 general election. He was re-elected at the 2007 general election. Shatter was a member of Dublin County Council from 1991 to 1999 for the Rathfarnham area.
Having a legal background, Shatter has proposed much legislation during his time as a TD. While in opposition, he published more Private member's bills than any other TD had done previously. His bills were successful in making changes in areas such as health, sport and justice, with the government often amending bills that he brought forward and adopting them as their own. Even prior to becoming a member of the Oireachtas, Shatter satirised some of the measures inherent within a 1979 Family Planning bill in the form of his nationally published booklet, "Family Planning – Irish Style".
During the 1980s Shatter successfully lobbied for the establishment of an Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was a member of the Committee from its foundation in 1992, apart from a brief period in 1993 to 1994, and its chairman from December 1996 to June 1997.
During a period in 1993 to 1994 he was removed by party leader John Bruton as a disciplinary measure for breaking the party whip. This was occasioned by his voting in the Dáil in favour of a Bill to ban live hare coursing. Shatter was president of the Irish Council against Blood Sports for a time.
During his time in the Dáil, he has been a Fine Gael Front Bench spokesperson on Law Reform (1982, 1987–88); the Environment (1989–91); Labour (1991); Justice (1992–93); Equality and Law Reform (1993–94); Health and Children (1997–2000); Justice, Law Reform and Defence (2000–02); Children (2007–10); and Justice and Law Reform (2010–11).
During his time out of politics after losing his seat at the 2002 general election, he practised as a solicitor and was a partner of the firm Gallagher Shatter. Among his professional affiliations, he is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
During the 2009 Gaza War, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh claimed that Shatter and the Israeli ambassador to Ireland had exposed the Oireachtas committee on Foreign Affairs to "propaganda, twisted logic and half truths". Ó Snodaigh also said that Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, would have been proud of it. In February 2009, during a sitting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs concerning the Gaza conflict, Shatter clashed verbally with Professor Ilan Pappé, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, accusing Pappé of biased scholarship and historical inaccuracies.
Minister for Justice and Minister for Defence (2011–present)
On 9 March 2011, Shatter was appointed Minister for Justice and Equality and also Minister for Defence in Enda Kenny's cabinet. In May that year, he made a public statement in support of the RTÉ "Mission to Prey" Prime Time programme that defamed a priest which he later backtracked on. That June, he apologised for "unfair and inaccurate" comments he made about RTÉ crime correspondent Paul Reynolds after saying he "consistently engages in tabloid sensationalism". When eight former attorneys general criticised the proposed Twenty-ninth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland on Oireachtas inquiries he described their views as "nonsense" and "simply wrong". The referendum was subsequently defeated.
One of Alan Shatter first portfolio's as new Minister of Justice in 2011 was dealing with the scandals of child abuse involving the Catholic church. Shortly after taking office, the Cloyne report which had been commissioned by the previous government to investigate clerical sex abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, was released. In response to this report and several other sex abuse scandals, the Fine Gael–Labour government announced controversial plans to criminalise failure to report an allegation of child abuse. Seán Brady, the Catholic primate of all Ireland, condemned this as compromising the seal of the confessional.
One of the steps taken by Shatter upon becoming minister was to speed up the Naturalisation and Citizenship process. Prior to Shatter assuming the office, the average time for decision was in excess of two years with some applicants waiting for over three to . The time for processing applicants has been cut down to less than 8 in most cases with an aim to make decisions within 6 months in all cases.
Alan shatter also introduced Citizenship ceremonies where new citizens swear an oath to the state and obtain their certificate of citizenship. The first ceremony was held in the Dublin Castle on 24 June 2011 with 73 new citizens in attendance.
On 3 March 2012, a convicted Garda killer escaped from low security open detention centre Loughan House in County Cavan, and fled across the border into Northern Ireland. Shatter later apologised and said "it should not have occurred."
On 15 May 2013, Shatter criticised whistleblowers alleging widespread corruption in the Garda Síochána regarding the cancellation of penalty points. An investigation by the Garda Síochána into its own affairs dismissed the allegations of corruption.
- Family Law in the Republic of Ireland (1980), ISBN 0-905473-43-4
- Laura: A Novel You Will Never Forget (1989), ISBN 1-85371-042-3
- Ireland and the Palestine Question 1948–2004 (2005), ISBN 0-7165-2814-2 (foreword by Alan Shatter)
- "Mr. Alan Shatter". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "Shatter: They still tell me to go back where I came from. So do they mean Rathgar?". Irish Independent. 28 January 2012.
- Introducing Ireland: a serious visitor's guide with biographies of over 700 leaders, Mercier Press, 1992.
- "Shatter in bid to evict tenant from US home over rent row". Irish Independent. 17 September 2012.
- "Alan Shatter". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "Israeli envoy condemns TD's 'outrageous' Goebbels remark". The Irish Times. 14 January 2009.
- "Israeli-born academic clashes with Shatter over Gaza violence". The Irish Times. 12 February 2009.
- "Shatter in U-turn on his 'rash' support for Prime Time". Irish Independent. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Mary Minihan; Noel Dundon (17 June 2011). "Shatter criticises RTÉ reporter". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Shatter apologises for prisoner escape". Irish Examiner. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "Break-in at Irish justice minister Alan Shatter's home". BBC News. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Lally, Conor (16 May 2013). "Allegations of widespread Garda corruption on penalty points dimissed in new report". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Labour 'satisfied' with Dail Shatter response". Irish Independent. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
|New constituency||Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Dublin South
|Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Dublin South
as Minister for Justice and Law Reform
|Minister for Justice and Equality
Éamon Ó Cuív
|Minister for Defence