Irish justice minister quits in blow to government

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Associated Press

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 2:06 PM

DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland's justice minister has resigned in a surprise blow to the country's 3-year-old coalition government after a state-ordered investigation concluded that he mishandled the complaints of a police corruption whistleblower.

Alan Shatter said in a letter Wednesday he was quitting to ease criticism of the government when the 300-page report is published within weeks.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who received the report Tuesday night, said he regretted Shatter's resignation, but said the report had found that Shatter responded inadequately to complaints of police corruption made by a serving officer, Maurice McCabe.

Ireland's police commander, Martin Callinan, resigned in March over the same scandal.

Shatter was regarded as Kenny's most intelligent, hard-working and reform-minded minister, but as also having a holier-than-thou manner and being unapologetic.

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