Have you ever kept a secret that was so spicy and ludicrous that it required you to take the solemn oath of a pinky swear? Do you consider yourself an honest person who appreciates the necessity of keeping silent, no matter how much of a humdinger you have on your hands? Well then, I’m sure those people all know of that one individual who takes pleasure in spilling the beans at another’s expense. In Fine Gael’s case that one individual just so happens to be the Minister of Justice, Alan Shatter (Oh the irony).
It all happened in the Dáil last week when Shatter exposed startling information regarding the upcoming budget. In a heated exchange of words between two backbenchers, the Justice Minister blurted out the possibility of closing rural Garda stations and army barracks throughout the Republic.
I’m sure if you had listened carefully, you would have heard the sound of Enda Kenny face-palming himself…
“For this state and for me as Minister to comply with obligations under the (EU/IMF) agreement concluded by the previous government…I have to find savings of €340 million in the estimates for the Department of Justice and Equality between now and 2014,” Shatter said.
Fianna Fáil spokesman, Michael McGrath, explained that “The slip of the tongue by the minister may well give us an indication of the scale of budget cutbacks that are going to be set out in the pre-budget outlook and multi-annual plan at the end of October”.
It must be quite incessant of Justice Ministers to leak in-the-closet information to the public. Not one year ago, Shatter’s predecessor, Eamon O’Cuiv, accidentally let the cat out of the bag when he revealed the Government’s proposed budget of €4.3bn.
“We will have a month…to discuss how we will achieve the 4.3…sorry… the 3% of GDP target that we need to achieve.”
Image by William Murphy