Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

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


8:25 pm

Photo of Réada CroninRéada Cronin (Kildare North, Sinn Fein)

The Shane O'Farrell case has a special place in people's hearts on this island because of the way his family has fought for justice for their son. I welcome the O'Farrell family to the Dáil. I am sorry I could not stay for the whole of the presentation in the audiovisual room today, but I have met Lucia O'Farrell before and I remember a determined woman when I meet one. I recognise that in her.

I also commend Matt Carthy and all the O'Farrell family on their perseverance on this case. We have seen brick walls, cultures of silence, the silence of omerta, transcripts altered, systems used and engaged against the family, and the State using public money, citizens' money, against citizens to duck and dodge and delay and hope the family might give up and go away. They have not, however, and they will not because Shane was their son. I am a parent and, like every parent here, I could not bear to imagine my child or any young person found metres from where they were hit by a serious and a serial road traffic offender who should never have been on the road. This is a man who was habitually before the courts, waltzing in and out of hearings in Dundalk, Cavan, Monaghan, Virginia and Carrickmacross, but who was Teflon when it came to ever being detained.

Shane O'Farrell was a law graduate, which is ironic because he would still be alive if the law had been properly administered and applied. The case is a litany of failures and one of abject neglect and circling of the wagons in every arm of justice involved. It is actually repulsive that there has been no public inquiry to date when the case and the family have been calling out for an inquiry for years. Both Houses of the Oireachtas voted for a public inquiry. It is the Government, and the Government alone, that has been dragging its heels. Why? It is still at it tonight. What is it hiding? Shane O'Farrell had barely made his mark on this earth before he was killed. An independent public inquiry is the very least Shane and his family deserve, not the Minister for Justice prolonging the injustice to them. It really is shocking.


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