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Alan Shatter’s five-star trip to Mexico cost €16k

ALAN Shatter stayed in one of Mexico’s five-star hotels as his ministry for justice began to slip from beneath him.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the cost of Mr Shatter’s St Patrick’s Day trip to Mexico City totalled almost €16,000.

Mr Shatter yesterday called a press conference to announce he was donating his €70,000 severance payment to the Jack and Jill Foundation.

He said he would not be resigning from his position within the Dail following much speculation.

The Dublin South TD kept the Taoiseach in the dark, though Enda Kenny had earlier said that he expected Mr Shatter to hand the money back to the Exchequer.

PROTECTION

Just over two months ago, the former Justice Minister stayed in the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel in Mexico for five nights, accompanied by his wife Carol, two personal protection officers and his private secretary.

The Freedom of Infomation documents show that Mr Shatter covered all the costs associated with bringing his wife Carol on the trip, which is in line with Government rules.

Some €8,859.18 was spent on flights for the party of five, while the accommodation bill totalled €6,034.24.

The rooms in the JW Marriott ranged in price from €178.05 to €385.69 per night, according to the department.

Mr Shatter’s room bill totalled €221.27 and is made up of various food purchases from the hotel’s lobby bar.

However, the department redacted various purchases which were “expenses which the minister paid for in cash”.

On one evening during the trip, Mr Shatter and his wife dined with the Irish ambassador to Mexico, Sonya Hyland, and her husband.

Ms Hyland’s post also covers Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Peru and Venezuela.

The overall cost of the trip totalled €15,922.59.

Mr Shatter delivered three keynote speeches during the visit, which was made only weeks before he resigned as Justice Minister.

As previously revealed by T

The Dublin South TD cited his trip to Mexico as the principal reason behind why he learned of the taping scandal so late.

The severance package handed over to the Jack & Jill Foundation will net the children’s charity around €50,000 after taxes are applied.

Jonathan Irwin, chief of Jack and Jill, joined Mr Shatter on the plinth of Leinster House as the announcement was made.

He thanked Mr Shatter for the donation and said that it would mean 3,125 hours of home nursing care to children in every community Ireland.

hnews@herald.ie


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