November 5, 2019
Sinn Féin leader calls for independent public inquiry into the death of Shane O’Farrell

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has called for the establishment of an independent public inquiry into the death of Shane O’Farrell. 

Deputy McDonald was responding to the decision of the Minister for Justice to reject the terms of references drafted by Judge Haughton who was appointed by him to oversee the scoping exercise into Shane’s death.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“In June last year a majority of TDs voted for the establishment of an independent public inquiry into the death of Shane O Farrell.

“After months of prevarication the Minister announced earlier this year his intention to establish a scoping inquiry into Shane’s death overseen by Judge Haughton. This decision fell far short of the spirit and intent of the Dáil motion.

“Following this announcement, the Justice Minister told the Dáil that he had not placed any restriction on Judge Haughton and that was open to him to propose changes to the terms of reference.

“In April, the Justice Minister went further in correspondence to the family and copied to those who had supported the family’s call for a public inquiry into Shane’s death. In this letter the Minister’s Private Secretary reassured the family that Judge Haughton is free to make any recommendation he sees fit.

“Despite these commitments the Minister for Justice has rejected Judge Haughton’s amended terms of reference including his reference to Shane and the family’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“The Justice Minister has provided final terms of reference that exclude critical areas of investigation and by doing so has narrowed the scope of Judge Haughton’s work and in turn his findings.

“The only course of action now is for the government to finally act the motion of June 2018 passed by a majority of the Dáil calling for an independent public inquiry into Shane’s death.

“As the O’Farrell family have said, an inquiry is the last chance for the government to meet its ECHR obligations to investigate properly Shane’s unlawful killing and to carry out an effective independent investigation into the full circumstances of Shane’s death.”

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