Frenzy and Betrayal: The Anatomy of a Political Assassination


Alan Shatter

May 2019

Compelling, dramatic and unique insight into the most shocking series of corruption scandals to rock the Irish political system in decades.

Paperback with flaps


On 6 May 2014 two reports wrongly condemning the conduct of Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, were delivered to government buildings in Dublin. Pressurised by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Shatter resigned from cabinet the next day, his reputation and political career in tatters. A frenzied media and political reaction to alleged bugging of the Garda Ombudsman Commission’s offices and an avalanche of allegations of Garda corruption put Shatter in the eye of a storm. He was wrongly accused of covering up espionage and corruption, ignoring concerns of whistle-blowers, spying on political opponents, and of undermining the administration of justice. Damaged by false narratives and political manoeuvring by Kenny, Shatter, a TD for over thirty years, lost his Dáil seat in 2016.

Pilloried by opposition politicians, journalists and commentators, targeted by a cabinet colleague and condemned without a fair hearing, Shatter was abandoned by his Fine Gael party colleagues. From the penalty points controversy, to the discovery of unknown phone tapping in Garda stations, to the explosive Charleton Report, this is the extraordinary inside story of a cataclysmic period in Irish politics.

Compelling and sardonic, Frenzy and Betrayal is the deeply disturbing story of how a dedicated, truthful and progressive Irish cabinet minister was falsely accused of wrongdoing and unjustly hounded from office in twenty-first-century Ireland, and his traumatic five-year battle for vindication and the truth.

Table of Contents

    1. Plane Sailing
    2. Joined at the Hip
    3. Vulnerabilities, Anomalies and Threats
    4. The Media Frenzy Begins
    5. Confusion Confounded and a Wandering Definitive
    6. GSOC Unchained and Post-Truths
    7. Insomnia, the Pink Panther and Inspector Gadget
    8. Sticky Wickets and Rits Crackers!
    9. Flying Empty Planes, Severed Hips and Rotting Fish
    10. Political Tsunami
    11. GSOC Cooked
    12. The Presumption of Guilt and Chasing Geese!
    13. Cooking Cooke and the Invisible Leak
    14. Along Comes Olly!
    15. A Tangled Web and Armageddon
    16. The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the?
    17. Guilty Until Proven Innocent
    18. The Ides of March
    19. Ticket Charges and Penalty Points
    20. Disgust
    21. ‘Real People Love the Shane and Mary Lou Show’
    22. A Failed Prophet and a Ticking Time Bomb
    23. ‘Distinguished not Disgusting’
    24. Entering a Parallel Universe
    25. Varadkar’s Source
    26. Garda Recordings Discovered
    27. Oh what a Tangled Web
    28. The Garda Commissioner Retires
    29. Shedding Crocodile Tears
    30. Tapegate, Twin Egos, Leo Lionised and God’s Earth
    31. Fake News Irish-Style and Alternative Facts
    32. The Arrogant and Perfidious Jew
    33. The Guerin Report is Born
    34. A Uniquely Irish Political Coup
    35. Guerin v O’Higgins: The Truth Two Years Too Late
    36. A Rush to Judgement, Legal Guff and Reformers Beware!
    37. Complaints Upheld, Exaggerated, Unfounded and Withdrawn
    38. Betrayal, Conscience, Excoriation and Vindication
    39. Watergate Irish-Style!
    40. The Rule of Law
    41. Outside Looking In
    42. Enda Kenny Resigns
    43. The Resignations of Nóirín O’Sullivan and Frances Fitzgerald
    44. The Disclosures Tribunal Reports
    45. Closure and a Pyrrhic Victory

About the Author

Alan Shatter is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence from 2011 to 2014. He was a TD for the Dublin South constituency from 1981 to 2002, and from 2007 to 2016. He was a partner in the Dublin law firm Gallagher Shatter (1977–2011) and is the author of several academic and general publications.

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