Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

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


9:05 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)

I thank Sinn Féin for tabling this motion. I welcome Lucia, her husband, their daughter, family and others. I commend her from the bottom of my heart on her tenacity, energy, efficiency and sterling, detailed forensic work in this case. It must be unbearable for her to have lost her wonderful son. He was killed, or murdered as I said before, so callously. She has had to do this work when the State has failed.

I see the Minister's response to the motion tonight. Not only the Minister, Deputy McEntee, but former Ministers for Justice, including the Taoiseach, Deputy Harris; Deputy Charles Flanagan; and Deputy Heather Humphreys, whose constituency this happened in, should all hang their heads in shame for the way they have treated this tragedy. It is the system that they operate.

For the first time ever in this House tonight, I went around the back and walked around the statues of the great men of 1916, including Thomas Clarke, Pádraig Pearse, Thomas Kent, Thomas MacDonagh, you name them. They are all there underneath where the O'Farrell family is sitting. The way the Minister and the Government have cover-up after cover-up is a disservice to those people and the democracy they fought for. With no disrespect to the family here, I will read out some of the cover-ups: the killing of young Brian Rossiter in the Garda station in Clonmel, the murder of Fr. Niall Molloy at a wedding in County Offaly, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, and the Omagh bombing, where there was despicable complicity from An Garda Síochána. I know that. I met the man who dropped that bomb. There was the Whiddy Island tragedy all those years ago and the Stardust, though finally they might get some chink of light. We all remember the Dowra affair, when a man was apprehended for giving evidence on the Seán Doherty issue. John O'Brien and Pat Esmonde were two young men who were unceremoniously murdered off Helvick Head. There was cover-up after cover-up and no proper Garda investigation.


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