Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

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


9:25 pm

Photo of Violet-Anne WynneViolet-Anne Wynne (Clare, Independent)

I thank Deputy Carthy for this important motion and for the opportunity to add my name. I commend the O'Farrell family for their steadfast determination, their tenacity and their outright dignity. They are an inspiration to us all and I have no doubt that they will keep going completely undeterred and unwavering until they get what Shane deserves, which is to rest in full peace with his dignity restored. I wanted that to be said here.

I listened to what the Minister had to say and I am perplexed. The scoping exercise apparently included all relevant material, but that was not the case and that sentiment in itself sounds contradictory to me. The statement from the O'Farrell family on the report of the scoping inquiry states, "Judge Haughton was not provided with, nor did he request the underlying GSOC statutory reports which form part of the terms of reference and appear essential to the exercise."

The Minister has written to the justice committee to allow time to consider this but the Minister and I both know the committee would need only two minutes to consider the details the O'Farrell family have uncovered. Let us get off the fence. I implore the Minister to stand with truth and justice. I attended today's briefing with the O'Farrell family and listened attentively to what they had to say. Again, I have to ask, "Why?" It is because those in positions of power still have not done the right thing. This family have been reeling in pain and with the lack of justice that has been demonstrated on so many levels that it is absolutely astounding. It is even more astounding that they have not been granted a full independent public inquiry when the reality is that Shane and his family were and have been failed time and again. It is absolutely heartbreaking and unacceptable.

I listened today as Lucia and Hannah outlined how many procedures and protocols were not followed, ignored or overlooked in respect of bail, previous convictions, coroners' requests, the effectiveness of GSOC and transparency around the use of informers by members of An Garda Síochána. It shows that glaring legal issues remain.

One could easily make the mistake that it is the content of the plot of a horror movie. It is really sinister stuff. Unfortunately, it is the very genuine reality for the O'Farrell family, which each and every one of them will forever hold dear.

A particular question to come from all the hard work the O'Farrell family has done is if the gardaí are trained in how to use the PULSE system. I refer to negligence, tardiness and, if I can say this, the pure Irishness of denying, delaying and withholding. As I said, I implore the Minister to do the right thing and commit to holding a full independent public inquiry. Go raibh maith agat.


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