Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Justice and Equality
105. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on when he and the Taoiseach will be meeting representatives from an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51498/17]
I received a request from the Committee in question for a meeting on 11 October 2017. As the independent assessment process was ongoing at that time, it was not appropriate for me to meet the Committee at that stage.
The Judge’s assessment report was formally submitted to my Department on 17 October 2017. The report was considered by my Department and was sent to the Office of the Attorney General for advices. I brought the report to the Cabinet meeting on 7 November 2017, following receipt of those advices. The report was accepted by the Government and furnished to the Committee immediately afterwards. I published the report later on 7 November and also laid the report before the Houses of the Oireachtas on the same date, given that the assessment process was initiated on foot of a Dáil Motion in January.
Having carefully considered the two previous independent reports on the tragedy and considered all material made available to him, the Judge concluded that no further new enquiry is warranted.
The incident in question was undoubtedly one of the greatest tragedies in the history of this country and the Government established this independent assessment process to ensure that all available relevant evidence, including any new material that may have come to light, could be assessed as a matter of urgency. I acknowledge the terrible pain and loss of the relatives of the victims and the fact that the report does not come to the conclusion that they would have wished for.
As the independent assessment process is now complete, I am now in a position to meet the Committee and my Department has proposed a meeting with them later this month. It is not envisaged that the Taoiseach will be in attendance.