Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

Inquiry into the death of Shane O'Farrell: Motion [Private Members]


7:55 pm

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)

Many things about this case are extraordinary, including the errors by the Courts Service; the freedom afforded to a man with numerous convictions in Lithuania and in Ireland to be out and about and committing more crimes; and gardaí stating they were not trained to check court outcomes and that being acceptable. All these circumstances led to the fateful night when Shane O'Farrell lost his life on roads he knew well. Extraordinary love and compassion have been shown by the O'Farrell family in their determination to see truth and justice. It is hard to think of a more fitting tribute to Shane than the efforts of Lucia, Jim and their daughter to seek to right the wrongs that led to his death. Their determination and analytical grasp of every aspect of the case has taught everyone in this House a lesson. They should not be in this situation, nor should they have to continue to demand an inquiry after Fianna Fáil moved a motion, passed by the Dáil, that an inquiry into all the circumstances surrounding Shane's death should take place. That Fianna Fáil is coming to the end of a full term in government without having made good on its commitment is not acceptable either. In all the talk around the time of the result of the Stardust inquiry, Shane's case was mentioned as well as Whiddy Island and the case of Captain Kelly. The reason for this is to ensure similar injustices do not occur again.

Could what happened to Shane occur again? We see the overburdened courts system and I spoke in the Chamber last week about waiting times in the District Court. It is easy to conclude mistakes will continue to happen. One mistake can have a huge cost. There needs to be a full inquiry so we understand what happened and understand the limitations and issues within our justice system, and so that a similar injustice can be prevented from happening again.


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