July 3, 2023
Government should immediately establish independent public inquiry into Shane O’Farrell case – Matt Carthy TD

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that government must finally implement the motions, adopted by both houses of the Oireachtas, which called for the establishment of an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Shane O’Farrell, and the actions of state agencies before and after his killing.

Shane, a 23-year-old Carrickmacross man, was killed in a hit and run on 2nd August 2011 by Zigimantas Gridziuska, a known criminal who had breached several bail conditions at the time and had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions. Serious questions have been raised regarding Garda interactions with Gridziuska and various decisions of several state bodies, including the courts and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In 2018, the Dáil supported a motion calling for the establishment of a public inquiry. Instead, the then government organised a scoping exercise by former Judge Gerard Haughton.

On RTÉ’s Primetime last Thursday, extracts of former Judge Haughton’s report were revealed, although the full report has not yet been published.

Deputy Carthy said that there must be an independent public inquiry into the case.

Teachta Carthy said:

“Shane O’Farrell was failed by the state. The person who killed him should have been imprisoned at the time of his killing.

“Shane’s family have been failed by the state at every juncture since. Serious questions have been levelled at Gardaí, the Department of Justice, the Courts Service and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“A lengthy GSOC investigation failed to answer those questions. In fact, the GSOC report on Shane’s case was significant primarily for its omissions. So much so, that both Houses of the Oireachtas passed resolutions calling for an Independent Public Inquiry into the case.

“Rather than delivering that, the Fine Gael government initiated a ‘scoping exercise’ in early 2019 – for which the report has still not been published.  f extracts of the report revealed on RTÉ’s Primetime are indicative, it seems that the only outworking of that exercise was to further delay the full truth in this case from emerging and to exacerbate the hurt and pain of the O’Farrell family.

“A full independent inquiry must be initiated without any further delay. The person solely responsible for Shane O’Farrell’s death was Zigimantas Gridziuska, a known criminal who should have been imprisoned and who should not have been on the road at the time.

“There have been enough delaying mechanisms. The questions that this case has raised are too important to ignore. 

“I will be using every opportunity available in the Dáil to challenge the Minister for Justice to do the right thing and establish the public inquiry which both houses of the Oireachtas had called for.”

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