Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

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


8:05 pm

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal, Sinn Fein)

Many years ago when I served as the Sinn Féin spokesperson on justice, I first met with Lucia and Jim. Lucia took a framed photograph of her beloved son to the meeting and it has never left me how devastated this hard-working, ordinary, decent Irish family was by what had happened. As Deputy Carthy said, it is not the courts, An Garda Síochána, GSOC or any of the institutions of the State that has revealed the truth; it has been the O'Farrell family. They have had to pursue justice and truth relentlessly. They have come into these Houses again and again. They must have thought when both Houses of the Oireachtas passed the resolution calling for a full public inquiry that it would happen, yet here they are again tonight. If the Government is not opposing this motion, will it please announce tonight that this inquiry will happen?

The text of the motion outlines an appalling litany of failures across the justice system in both jurisdictions, but fundamentally in this State. The suspicion is, and I firmly believe it, that Mr. Gridziuska was a Garda informer. It is the only logical conclusion I can come to, given the number of times he was released and the fact judges were not informed of the latest offences he had committed in both jurisdictions on this island. It is one of two things, both of them appalling. Either there was a litany of failures leading to that awful night when Shane was killed or there was an informer on behalf of the State whose actions were covered up again and again to lead to that awful night. We need to get to the truth. We cannot wait all those years like the Stardust families. The O'Farrell family should not have to wait as long as those families. We need to learn from that and do it right. Will the Minister please announce tonight a full, independent public inquiry?


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