January 17, 2022
Revoking of findings on Gardaí in Shane O’Farrell case ‘illustrates urgent need for Independent Public Inquiry’ – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Matt Carthy has said the reported decision of Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, to revoke the findings of negligence against two Gardaí linked to the case of Shane O’Farrell further illustrates the urgent need for an independent public inquiry into matters raised by the family.

Both Gardaí faced disciplinary sanctions over their role in Mr. O’Farrell’s 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, its findings resulted in just three Gardaí facing minor disciplinary sanctions.  We now learn that the Garda Commissioner has revoked these findings in the case of two of the Gardaí. 

“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, government initiated a ‘scoping inquiry’ in early 2019 – an inquiry that, bizarrely, has yet to deliver its report.

“It is entirely understandable that this has led to a fear that the scoping exercise is just another mechanism designed to delay the full truth in this instance.

“This most recent development has simply further illustrated the urgent need for a full independent inquiry to be initiated without any further delay.  I will continue to press Minister Helen McEntee and the Taoiseach on this matter at every opportunity until this necessary measure is commenced.”

ENDS

Note to Editor:

Background: 
Shane O’Farrell, 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.  A lengthy GSOC investigation resulted in just minor disciplinary sanctions against three Gardaí; two of which have now had these findings overturned, according to The Times (Ireland) journalist Mark Tighe.

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