Seanad debates

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Death of Shane O'Farrell: Motion


10:30 am

Photo of Niall Ó DonnghaileNiall Ó Donnghaile (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. I thank him for taking the time to be with us today. I also thank Senator Norris for his doggedness in ensuring this motion was heard today. As I reflected on the sentiments expressed by previous speakers, the facts of this case and the presence in the Chamber of members of Shane O'Farrell's family, it struck me that Senator Norris should not have had to do that. I do not say this to be combative or confrontational. Given the courage and dignity shown by Shane O'Farrell's family, we feel compelled each time we talk about this case to commend the stance of the family. However, we should not have to do that either. The family does not want to be here and they do not want to be involved in this awful situation. They have had the great trauma, hurt and pain of Shane's loss inflicted on them and they have to face the added indignity and injustice of the failure to adequately deal with the circumstances relating to Shane's death.

I reassert and reaffirm my party's support for a public inquiry. I plead with the Minister who I have no doubt engages with the issue in good faith. I am also conscious that we are dealing with a family and every time they have to re-engage with this issue and lobby and campaign for their basic right and entitlement to have the criminal manner in which they lost their son properly investigated, they are traumatised again. There is a part of me that is ashamed that we have to add to that trauma every time we speak on this issue, although I wholeheartedly accept that none of us intend that. That is the reality, however, when we fail to bring about the proper mechanisms and the full public inquiry sought by the family and the majority of Members of these Houses. As has been noted, the Dáil voted for and demands a full public inquiry and, critically, the family are entitled to it. I hope it is initiated without further delay and additional trauma and pain for the family because nothing will take away the pain the family have felt. I hope the truth and full circumstances relating to Shane's untimely death are brought to the fore.


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