Seanad debates

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Death of Shane O'Farrell: Motion


10:30 am

Photo of David NorrisDavid Norris (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I have addressed the Acting Chairman.

Shane O'Farrell's family are not satisfied with the present situation. I have been in touch with the family and they have said the Minister has not complied with the vote in the Dáil that was taken eight months ago. Instead, the Minister had put something else in place that he should not have. This is the family's view. The Minister has not complied with what that House had already decided. Since that vote eight months ago the family has discovered that two statements given by Zigimantas Gridziuska were altered by the Garda for the inquest into Shane's horrific death. This is most extraordinary. Left out was reference to his heroin problem. Those statements were not redacted: they were completely removed and the sentences joined up. These incomplete statements would only have been noticed if compared with the original statements. It is very much in the public interest that there would be a public inquiry in line with what the other House has already decided. The ongoing delay is disrespectful to Shane and his family and to the many Deputies who voted for a public inquiry. The Minister must respect the vote.

There has been an awful lot of shilly-shallying, even on yesterday's Order of Business. I had the numbers to push this through yesterday and win the vote. I sincerely hope I do it today. Yesterday I suggested an amendment to the Order of Business that this motion be taken immediately after the Order of Business, but I was interrupted. In the confusion the Cathaoirleach said it was after No. 2. That was not what I had said. Later in the debate I said very clearly that I wanted the motion taken immediately after the Order of Business. That was frustrated. I sincerely hope that we will get to vote today and that we will win the vote today. I would have won it yesterday. If we do not win it today I will certainly not stop pursuing this matter and pursing justice for the O'Farrell family whose courage has been quite extraordinary. They have stood up to Government obfuscation, to delays in the courts, to misinformation before the courts and to alteration of documents by the Garda. It would be an heroic struggle. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues for being here to support this motion and I very much hope we win the vote later this afternoon.


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