Alan Shatter apologises to RTE’s Paul Reynolds

ALAN Shatter has apologised to RTÉ’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds for scathing comments he made about him yesterday.
The Minister for Justice had accused Reynolds of engaging in “tabloid sensationalism”.
They had clashed when the reporter – one of the most respected in his field – asked the Minister about the appointment of one of his political donors to a part-time garda whistleblower’s post.
Oliver Connolly has been appointed as an external ‘confidential recipient’ for complaints from gardaí about corruption in the force, on a salary of €12,500 a year.
The barrister gave, according to records of political donations kept by the Standards in Public Office Commission, Minister €1,000 in the 2007 general election year.
Connolly is the founder of Friary Law – a mediation services firm that has worked with Minister Shatter – himself a family law specialist.
Minister Shatter said tonight: “I apologise to Paul Reynolds for comments made by me yesterday.
‘Whilst as a public figure I have no difficulty in dealing with issues relating to my public duties, I considered the broadcast of Paul Reynolds on the RTÉ television one o’clock news yesterday to be grossly unfair to Mr Oliver Connolly.’
He described him as ‘a private individual of impeccable integrity who had agreed to act as the confidential recipient in relation to An Garda Síochána’.
Minister Shatter added: ‘I inappropriately responded by making comments about Paul which I now regret and acknowledge were unfair and inaccurate.
‘I am advised that Paul Reynolds yesterday apologised to Mr Connolly.
‘I am apologising to Paul Reynolds and I want to acknowledge the contribution and value of his work as RTÉ’s crime correspondent.
‘I hope that Paul will accept my apology and that we can both move on.”
Minister Shatter had been addressing councillors in Templemore, Co Tipperary, yesterday after attending a Garda College graduation ceremony when he made an extraordinary outburst against Reynolds.
He said: ‘Mr Reynolds has great difficulty in accurately reporting anything.
‘He constantly and consistently engages in tabloid sensationalism of the worst kind and frequently gets it very wrong.’

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