Mr Shatter, whose department was in trouble earlier this month for sending Raphoe Garda killer Martin McDermott to an open prison from which he escaped, didn’t mince his words.
But he used the sort of language for which colleague and household tax minister Phil Hogan has faced stern criticism.
As the walkers from Donegal were joined by others on the final leg of their 280-mile march to the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin today, Shatter was damning.
He said the protestors – and Sinn Fein which has forwarded a bill to repeal the tax – should “get a life.”
He went on: “I’ve never seen such a mountain made out of a molehill in my life.”
Reacting to the comments, the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has accused the Government of being “in denial” about public feeling towards the charge.
“Justice Minister Alan Shatter is telling us to get a life. He is obviously in denial about the kind of life this Government has imposed on the citizens struggling with austerity.
“Fine Gael and Labour are in denial about the social consequences of their government’s policies.”
Mr Adams added: “The unemployed, the families whose loved ones have emigrated, the households in mortgage distress, those on hospitals trolleys and low and middle income households struggling to pay increasing bills and make ends meet will not be celebrating the Fine Gael Ard Fheis.”