Tag Archives: Shane O’Farrell

Clockwise from top left: Cynthia Owen, Conor Devally SC; former Garda Frank Mullen and his wife Ellen Mullen; the late Shane O’Farrell

You may recall the case of Cynthia Owen.

Ms Owen has alleged that she was prostituted by her parents to a group of local men, including three local gardaí, in the 1970s.

In January 2016, she posted on her Facebook page photographs of the surviving men alleged by her to have been involved in this abuse. These photographs included former garda Frank Mullen.

In May 2016, Mr Mullen, a founder of the Garda Representative Association and former chairman of Dalkey United football club, gave two interviews to journalist Michael Clifford – for the Irish Examiner and Newstalk. In both interviews, he strenuously denied the allegations.

Ms Owen’s case was included in the Independent Review Mechanism which was set up by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, in May 2014, to look into 322 cases concerning allegations of Garda misconduct.

The panel included two senior counsel, Conor Devally and Paul Greene, and five junior counsel, Paul Carroll, John Fitzgerald, Tony McGillicuddy, Siobhán Ni Chúlacháin, Karen O’Connor.

On November 4, in a written answer, the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said:

“Appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that nothing arises which might in any way detract from the integrity of the review mechanism, including issues of conflict of interest.

Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that if there is any conflict, or potential conflict, the conflicted counsel not only will not be involved in the particular complaint, but also will not be aware of which counsel is reviewing it.”

In 2015, Ms Owen was notified by the Department of Justice that this mechanism recommended no further action be taken in regards to her case.


In The Sunday Times last Sunday Justine McCarthy reported how panel member Conor Devally – who advised Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald not to reopen the inquiry into the case of Cynthia Owen – previously represented former Garda Frank Mullen in a separate, unrelated case.

Ms McCarthy reported:

Department of Justice documents released to Owen via a freedom of information (FoI) request show Conor Devally was the allocated counsel for her case in the independent review mechanism (IRM) set up by Fitzgerald to assess alleged miscarriages of justice.

In July 2015, Devally recommended “no further action be taken” in relation to Owen’s allegations of incest, child rape by a paedophile ring, and suspicious infant deaths. Devally cited time lapsed and lack of evidence among reasons for his advice.

He was one of two senior counsel employed for the IRM. The documents show he was paid €800 for reviewing Owen’s case, after receiving the file in July 2014. A form in the FoI documents records the reply “no” to a question as to whether the counsel had a conflict of interest.

In a High Court case involving a disputed will in 2011, Devally was the senior counsel for Frank Mullen, a retired garda who has denied Owen’s accusations he was involved in her abuse.

Devally said: “I am constrained from speaking about the work of the IRM under the terms of my engagement as a legal adviser to the minister and the department. I am unaware of any conflict that is suggested to you. I was not conscious of any at the time.”

Owen got the department’s file after appealing the department’s refusal to give it to her. “We are not saying Conor Devally was biased but if there is even a perception of bias his report should be set aside,” said Gerry Dunne, Owen’s solicitor.

In 2007, after a jury at the inquest into the death of Noleen Murphy unanimously found she was the child of Cynthia Owen; that she died at the family’s former home in White’s Villas in Dalkey; and that her cause of death was haemorrhage due to stab wounds; Minister for Justice Michael McDowell appointed Patrick Gageby SC to review Ms Owen’s clams.

In 2008, Mr Gageby’s report was delivered to the Minister for Justice.

In it, he advised against a public inquiry, apparently because of the legal difficulties that would be brought about by the serious allegations made against certain people, and because of the amount of time that had elapsed since the death.

It has since emerged that, prior to being appointed to review Ms Owen’s case,  Mr Gageby had publicly called for a limit on the time allowed to elapse between an alleged sex crime and the prosecution of the suspect as there was a danger the accused could not receive a fair trial.

Dalkey review lawyer previously acted for ‘abuser’ (Justine McCarthy, The Sunday Times)


Lucia and Jim O’Farrell with a picture of their late son, Shane

Readers may also recall how the case of Shane O’Farrell was also included in the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).

The 23-year-old student died in a hit-and-run just outside Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan on August 2, 2011.

The man who struck Shane, Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania, had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time.

Shane’s family also raised concerns about SC Conor Devally’s involvement in the IRM, as Mr Devally represented Zigimantas Gridzuiska.

The O’Farrell family were alarmed at Mr Devally’s inclusion given that they would have mentioned Mr Devally as having represented Mr Gridzuiska in correspondence with the Attorney General Máire Whelan and Minister for Justice for 18 months prior to the establishment of the IRM.

The O’Farrell family were told that Mr Devally wouldn’t be involved in the Shane O’Farrell case.

However, readers may wish to note…

In a written answer to Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins on July 16, 2014, the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald said:

Counsel will be paid a fee on a case by case basis of €300, €550 or €800 depending on the complexity of each case. Senior Counsel will additionally have a brief fee of €20,000 to oversee the operation of the mechanism and ensure consistency of approach across all the cases. 

In addition, in a written answer to a PQ by Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, on December 16, 2014, Ms Fitzgerald said:

“Appropriate steps have been taken that nothing arises which might in any way detract from the integrity of the review mechanism, including issues of conflict of interest. Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that if there is any conflict, or potential conflict, the conflicted counsel not only will not be involved in the particular complaint, but also will not be aware of the which counsel is reviewing it.

The order in which cases are dealt with is a matter for Senior Counsel who, in addition to examining individual complaints, are required to advise the Department generally on the management of the process, take a joint lead in allocating cases to Junior Counsel, and jointly oversee recommendations with a view to ensuring as far as possible a consistency of approach.”

Peviously: Refusing To Collude

‘Delay, Deny, Lie Then Cover-Up’

A Dalkey Archive

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 15.50.25

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions which were being received by Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised the case of Shane O’Farrell who was killed in a hit-and-run in Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan by Zigimantus Gridziuska, from Lithuania, on August 2, 2011.

Mr Martin said:

It’s clear the family were misled by the gardaí about facts of their son’s death. The courts were misled by both gardaí and others. The courts were not informed of relevant information when judges asked questions, pertaining to the accused. Fundamentally, minister, I put it to you that offences concerning violent deaths should not go unpunished.”

“I think we owe it, collectively, and I know others in the house have met with Lucia O’Farrell and the O’Farrell family. We owe it to make sure that justice is done. And the most effective way, at this stage, in our view, is that an inquiry should be established. To inquire into all aspects of this case. So that we can learn lessons and justice can be delivered for the O’Farrell family. And that the dysfunctionality within our justice system, that are highlighted by the case, can be put to right. I would ask you, minister, if the Government has given consideration to this. I know the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach has indeed met with the O’Farrell family. But I think it’s time for action now.”

During his response, Mr Bruton said:

The Government, to my knowledge, it has not come to Cabinet, to consider this specific circumstances of this case. As I understand it, under legislation, it would be in the first instance for the Minister for Justice to propose issues in relation to the suggestion you’re making of a public inquiry. I cannot, if you like, shed light on whether there is a case or not for such a public inquiry because I don’t have access to sufficient facts and detail. It is, perhaps, an issue that can be raised with the Minister for Justice but I will certainly convey the concern of the deputy to the minister.

Previously: ‘Delay, Deny, Lie Than Cover Up’

Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 15.12.14

Alternative writes:

We interviewed the very brave Lucia O’Farrell – who told us about how her son Shane was killed by a hit-and-run driver who had been stopped by police before the killing. The police let a car which had no insurance go… Please watch and share this video. Lucia deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Alternative (Facebook)

Previously: Delay, Deny, Lie Then Cover-Up

Lucia O’Farrell on Broadsheet


Shane O’Farrell

You’ll recall the case of Shane O’Farrell.

The 23-year-old, from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, was killed in a hit-and-run by Zigimantus Gridziuska, on August 2, 2011.

Gridziuska was on bail for several offences at the time and was on suspended sentences in the Republic and the North which should have been activated prior to the incident.

He pleaded guilty to failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of the crash and he received an eight-month suspended sentence in on February 28, 2013, on condition that he leave the country within 21 days.

Judge Pat McCartan, at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, gave Gridziuska the choice of serving the with months or leaving the country and he chose the latter.

During the sentencing of Gridzisuka, Shane’s mother Lucia O’Farrell claims Judge McCartan asked if there was anything coming up in the pipeline for Gridziuska and that the State solicitor failed to notify the judge that – over the five months before Gridziuska’s trial – a file had been prepared in relation to insurance fraud charges against Gridziuska.

Ms O’Farrell repeatedly requested for this file to be compiled and completed so that it could be included in the proceedings of the case of dangerous driving causing death. However, it wasn’t.

On March 6, 2013 – just days after he was ordered to leave the State within 21 days – Gridziuska appeared in Carrickmacross District Court for insurance fraud and he was jailed for five months by Judge Sean MacBride in relation to three policies of insurance fraud, one of which covered the day on which Shane was killed. Judge MacBride also banned him from driving for ten years.

Further to this…

GSOC has been carrying out an investigation into Shane’s case for the past two and a half years.

On September 28, 2016, in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan raised Shane’s case and said:

“If the GSOC report comes back, I will be holding her to what I believe should be an agreement that the family deserves an inquiry if the GSOC report indicates there are further matters that merit investigation.”

Further to this, Sinn Fein’s leader Gerry Adams raised Shane’s case during Leaders’ Questions in the Dail today while Shane’s Mrs O’Farrell was in the gallery watching on.

He explained the details of Shane’s case and mentioned that he had given Taoiseach Enda Kenny a file about the case – before the summer recess.

Mr Adams had the following exchange with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Gerry Adams: “You might tell me that the Justice Minister has Shane’s case with GSOC but it’s been there four and a half years and no result yet. The case, Ceann Comhairle, is multi-dimensional, shocking and sickening at every turn, it merits a proper statutory investigation, Taoiseach. Will you commit to this please?”

Enda Kenny: “I recall when this accident happened, Deputy Adams. Nothing that I can say or do will bring back Shane O’Farrell and I’m happy to see his mother [Lucia O’Farrell] in the gallery today. I’ve read the file that you gave me. I’ve read the other extensive files that exist in this case. I am aware that there is a civic action against the State and that GSOC have been carrying out an investigation on this. I feel that, that I would like to meet Mrs O’Farrell and hear her story myself. And I will do so from a humanitarian point of view. There are processes that are always followed; nothing will bring back Shane O’Farrell whom I understand was a brilliant young student. So, I know the MInister for Justice answered questions on this recently, I think to Deputy [Jim] O’Callaghan and she indicated, as she had met the family herself, as indeed many have, that she would like to be in a position to have the response of GSOC and that that work was well advanced. Though, as you point out, it’s been going on for quite a while. My understanding from that is that GSOC wish to interview a number of other gardai and that the Minister would be prepared to follow through with whatever the recommendations of GSOC were. This is a very sensitive and sad situation for the O’Farrell family and I’d like to think, that the very least we can do is have every possibility examined so that Mrs O’Farrell, Shane’s mother and his sister, can be an at least, know that the situation was examined in the way that it should be. Thank you for giving me the file which I read and for your question, I’ll make arrangements to meet with Mrs O’Farrell when I have an opportunity.”

Adams: “I thank you, Taoiseach, for your response and I thank you particularly for agreeing to meet with Mrs O’Farrell. This was a young lad, as you say, he was 23, he was a brilliant student at Trinity, he was about to start work at the European Parliament and he was a fluent Irish speaker. He was a gentle, young man with a bright, bright future. And Lucia, and Jim [Shane’s father] have been robbed of their pride and joy. He was their only son. But this case goes beyond his tragic death. It reveals, in my opinion, a series of grievous flaws in the management and response by the justice agencies. There are 59 complaints with GSOC in relation to Shane’s case but nothing to show. Four and a half years later, and this delay is causing ongoing trauma to his family. And I’m sure that you agree that all citizens must have confidence in our justice systems and, of course, all systems have their failings. But we all have a duty to ensure that they are of the very highest standards. As you say, Shane O’Farrell can’t be brought back, but his family can get justice. So I thank you for your reply, I thank you for your agreement, as I’ve said, to meet with Shane’s mother. But Taoiseach, they have asked for a statutory inquiry, will you agree to that? Or, failing that, today will you agree will you make your position known on this issue after you’ve met with Mrs O’Farrell and can you do that as quickly as your busy schedule will allow?”

Kenny: “Yes, I will make my views known and I will arrange to meet Mrs O’Farrell as soon as I have an opportunity. I would say that this is one of over 200 cases where people feel very grievously hurt on a range, a very broad range of issues across many years. And a review panel was set up to look at all these cases including the tragic death of Shane and that consisted of two senior and five junior counsel who are very experienced and the recommendation that they made was to take no further action. Now, I’m not a senior counsel but my job in politics engages me with so many people. I read this file and I will meet Mrs O’Farrell and I will make my views known. I’d like to think that the GSOC inquiry is, you know, practically complete. That’s my understanding. But that’s not of any value to people who say ‘I’ve been waiting for so long without any clarity as to when I’m going to have, I’m going to have a completed document’. The Minister for Justice did say, I’d like to get that, and I’d like to, you know, decide what the best option is arising from that report. I have no input obviously into the civic action as for a person’s right to take a case against the State. But I will meet Mrs O’Farrell because I want to meet her on a humanitarian basis. This is one of a number of very tragic cases and, as I say, nothing will bring back Shane O’Farrell.”

Previously: ‘Delay, Deny, Lie, Then Cover-Up’

O’Callaghan transcript: Kildarestreet.com

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 13.23.50noirinnoel


From top: Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness in the Dáil yesterday; Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Superintendant Noel Cunningham at the Association of Garda Superintendents conference last month; and the late Shane O’Farrell

Yesterday evening.

TDs continued to make statements on the report of the Justice O’Higgins Commission of Investigation into allegations of malpractice made by Sgt Maurice McCabe.

This is what Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said…

In the workings of the Committee of Public Accounts over the past five years, one of the most impressive witnesses who came before us and the only witness who came before us in private session was Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Everything he said was supported by documentary evidence. Those who were concerned about how he might behave or what he might say during the course of that meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts were impressed afterwards by the fact that he presented well and proved anything he spoke and that the documents he presented to the committee showed us that there was, in my opinion, a lot of corruption within the force at that time.

A circular dated 4 July 2011 signed by the chief superintendent, C. M. Rooney, that went out to the Assistant Commissioners and district officers in the Cavan-Monaghan division, stated clearly that on 24 June 2011, Mr. Rooney had a meeting with Assistant Commissioner for national support services, Derek Byrne, at Monaghan Garda station.

It stated that the Assistant Commissioner informed Mr. Rooney that he had completed his investigation into complaints made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe and that the findings of the investigation were approved by the Garda Commissioner.

It stated that the investigation concluded that there was no systemic failure identified in the management and administration of Bailieborough Garda district.

It stated that a number of minor procedural issues were identified and that on further investigation at local level, no evidence was found to substantiate the alleged breach of procedure.

It stated that the assistant commissioner further concluded that there was no criminal conduct identified on the part of any member of the district force.

He stated that he would like to congratulate all members who served in Bailieborough district during the period in question and, in particular, Sergeant Gavigan, who provided leadership, enthusiasm and commitment and who partly steered the station through the crisis that had occurred.

It stated that the findings of the assistant commissioner vindicate the high standard and professionalism of the district force in Bailieborough and that he appreciated the manner in which the members of the district participating in the investigation were open and truthful in their account of the events surrounding the allegations.

It said he hoped all members and their families could put this difficult period behind them and continue to serve the public and their colleagues in an efficient and professional manner.

One has to take that letter into consideration when one reads the O’Higgins report because all of the cases mentioned by Garda McCabe, and which are mentioned in the O’Higgins report clearly contradict everything in that letter.

There is a serious conflict here; somebody is wrong. This letter was given to the assistant commissioner and each district officer in the Cavan-Monaghan division.

I gave an account of when Garda McCabe came before the Committee of Public Accounts. Every effort was made by those within the Garda Síochána at senior level to discredit Garda Maurice McCabe.

The Garda Commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road that Garda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were serious issues about him.

The vile stories that circulated about Garda McCabe, which were promoted by senior officers in the Garda, were absolutely appalling. Because they attempted to discredit him, he had to bring forward various pieces of strong evidence to protect his integrity.

During the course of that time, we have to recognise that the political establishment was of absolutely no help to him.

Every effort was made to ensure he would not appear before the Committee of Public Accounts. Every effort was made to dampen down the strong evidence he put into the public domain, which he had to do to protect himself, to inform us about what was going on with penalty points and other issues.

On 17 May, the Minister for Justice and Equality answered a parliamentary question on the death of Shane O’Farrell.

His mother, Lucia O’Farrell, has been campaigning since that time to have an investigation into it. The Minister relies on the review mechanism and the findings of that mechanism which she put in place.

At that time, the result of that review mechanism was that nothing further was to be done in Lucia O’Farrell’s case. Deputy Mick Wallace and others have already mentioned the name of officer Cunningham. In view of the findings and what is going on, will the Minister now reopen the case of the death of Shane O’Farrell?

Will she find out why a garda had stopped that car one hour before and asked the driver to change with the passenger because there was no tax or insurance?

The passenger then drove the car that later killed – murdered – Shane O’Farrell.

We have to reopen that case because everything in it tells us what is wrong with the Garda and the Department of Justice and Equality. We are part of a cover-up in this House if we do not clearly demand that the case be reinvestigated.

There are similar cases, such as the Fr. Molloy case and the Mary Boyle case. Why is it that the State has to stonewall each and every one of these cases?

Why is it we have to protect those who should not be protected? In whose interest is it or what is it in the interest of?

In the interests of justice, these cases have to be examined. The Minister cannot ignore this debate. She cannot ignore the facts around the officers involved in that station relative to the Shane O’Farrell case in particular.

We cannot ignore the activities of those officers who deliberately went about to set up and discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe. They have to be independently investigated.

It has been said they are being referred to GSOC. I heard former Chief Superintendent John O’Brien this morning on the radio, who likened an investigation by GSOC to being mauled by a dead sheep. That is what he said and that is the view of the public.

For far too long in this House and in politics we have stuck to the same old politics.

In our actions, we have protected the system when that system was delivering an injustice to individuals and families throughout the country. There have been demands for the Minister and Commissioner to resign but the culture has to be changed.

That is essentially where the problem lies. We are afraid to attempt to change that culture because of the vested interests that exist. We say that we passed the legislation on protected disclosures and that now, at this late stage, the Commissioner will do something about it.

There are individuals across every Department who are affected by bullying and harassment. Their stories are being dampened down and they are being discriminated against and sanctioned for telling the truth.

The one thing this House seems to be afraid of is the truth. We are hearing the truth from Maurice McCabe. We have heard it from the whistleblowers in the Department of Finance and AIB and from the other whistleblowers in the Garda Síochána. We have done nothing about it.

I have heard at first hand a recent case which has been sorted by the Garda where a young garda was put into a situation and had to pee in a bottle rather than leave his station because he knew he was being set up.

Is that what we stand for in this House? Is that the injustice we will allow to happen?

Kicking this can down the road will not solve this problem. It will not give us the strength of the Garda that is needed to deal with the issues of crime on Dublin streets that we see at the moment.

I agree with Paul Williams who said gardaí were lions led by donkeys. He gave descriptions of all sorts of things that are happening in Dublin about which nothing is being done. The gardaí on the beat need to be supported.

Whatever it costs the State, we need to put money and resources behind them. We need to stop bluffing and stop the politically correct contributions we are making on all these issues and start to take real, imaginative and radical steps to ensure we have an independent authority that will protect the likes of Maurice McCabe.

I received an anonymous letter from an individual asking what was written on the note that was passed on the day of the Committee of Public Accounts from the current Commissioner to the former Commissioner, Martin Callinan, before he uttered the word “disgusting”.

The writer wonders if he was prompted or encouraged to do it. It has to be asked how much does the current Commissioner know and how far did the outgoing Commissioner go to discredit Maurice McCabe? It is an appalling vista as one looks at this issue.

The Minister and Members of the House have to give leadership. There must be political leadership.

My demand is that we reopen the cases before the commission, like that of Shane O’Farrell, Mary Boyle and the others, and face the truth.

We need to protect the whistleblowers that are currently being sanctioned and treated badly. It continued after the penalty points issue. Maurice McCabe highlighted that and we did nothing about it.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: Unsolved Ireland

Maurice McCabe And The Plastic Rat

Shoulder To Shoulder


Lucia and Jim O’Farrell hold a picture of their late son, Shane

You may recall the death of Shane O’Farrell.

Shane, aged 23, was killed in a hit-and-run outside Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan on August 2, 2011.

The man who struck Shane was Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania. He had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time of Shane’s death.

During the sentencing of Gridzisuka, Ms O’Farrell claims Judge Pat McCartan asked if there was anything coming up in the pipeline for Gridziuska and that the State solicitor failed to notify the judge that – over the five months before Gridziuska’s trial – a file had been prepared in relation to insurance fraud charges against Gridziuska.

Gridziuska then received an eight-month suspended sentence on condition he leave Ireland.

However just days after he was ordered to leave the State, Gridziuska appeared in Carrickmacross District Court for insurance fraud and was jailed for five months by Judge Sean MacBride. This was in relation to three policies of insurance fraud, one of which covered the day on which Shane was killed.

Further to this, Shane’s mother Lucia O’Farrell sued Gridzuiska for nervous shock. She settled this afternoon.

The Irish Times reports:

She told Mr Justice Raymond Fullam joy has gone out of her life since her son died.

“I relive every minute of the day that it happened. I will never move on. My life is over,” she said.

In her High Court action, Lucia O’Farrell sued for nervous shock claiming, since the accident, she has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a severe grief reaction including flashbacks and nightmares.

On Wednesday, her counsel Gabriel Gavigan SC said the case had settled and could be struck out. The terms of settlement are confidential.

Anthony Kidney SC, for Mr Gridzuiska, said the defendant’s legal team empathised and sympathised with the O’Farrells and had defended the case on the instruction of the insurer.

Mr Justice Fullam said it was in everyone’s best interests the case had settled and he hoped, with the trauma of the litigation, both criminal and civil, behind them, the family can face the future together and live with their great loss.

‘I lost my only son. Now I see everything as being over’ (Irish Times)

Previously: ‘Delay, Deny, Then Cover Up’


A letter from Lucia O’Farrell last week to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald following Lucia’s repeated efforts to get justice for her son, Shane O’Farrell.

Previously: Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet

Thanks  Gemma O’Doherty


Lucia O’Farrell

Lucia O’Farrel’s  23-year-old son Shane was killed in a hit-and-run by Zigimantus Gridziuska  on August 2, 2011. Gridziuska was on bail for several offences at the time and was on suspended sentences in the Republic and the North that should have been activated prior to the incident.

Lucia has raised concerns about garda failures and serious ‘irregularities’ during Gridzuiska’s trial and is suing the Minister for Justice and the State over Shane’s death.

Lucia writes:

Our quest for justice for Shane has been hampered by the Department of Justice. They appear to have forgotten the very thing they are supposed to represent, they appear to have forgotten the very thing they are supposed to fight for: truth and justice. They appear to have forgotten the very people that they are there to serve.

Despite my correspondence with evidence of irregularities which occurred in the court in Shane’s case – which have been with the Department of Justice since before July 2013 – they have chosen to ignore it. Is this in the public interest of the people that they are there to serve? The Minister for Justice has chosen loyalty over honesty.

The ‘review panel’ which was set up by Minister Fitzgerald in July 2014 was to look at allegations of Garda failure. It was to take 8 to 12 weeks. No thought whatsoever went into this ‘review panel’ or did it?

Why was Conor Devally appointed, when they knew he defended the man who took Shane’s life? Despite Shane’s case being one of the most serious – as Shane is dead because of Garda failure – they appointed the Mr Devally as one of two senior counsels to oversee the ‘review panel’.

His appointment is unjust, there is the appearance of bias, it shows lack of independence, unfair procedure, and it is irrational and totally wrong. Minister Fitzgerald refused to remove him.

Please bear in mind that, Ms Fritzgerald has stated in the Dáil that the purpose of the two senior counsels is “to oversee the mechanism to ensure consistency of approach across all the cases” and “in addition to examining individual complaints, are required to advise the Dept generally on the management of the process, take a joint lead in allocating cases to junior counsel, and jointly oversee recommendations with a view to ensuring as far as possible a consistency of approach”.

She also stated that “counsel have to take into account whether those cases have been through due process, even if the persons involved remain unhappy with the outcome of that process.”

Naturally I have no faith in this process, it is very flawed. I have written several times asking for a list of the documents that are being reviewed by this panel. This is not even best international practice, it is just normal standard practice, yet no list has been furnished to me.

For over a year before this panel was formed, I sent documents to various state agencies and deputies who may have passed them to the Department of Justice. I have no idea on what material they are making their findings.

Documents with evidence of cover-up by the State were sent to the Dept of Justice/Attorney General. DPP, Standards in Public Office. The Irish Human Rights and Equity Commission, The Joint Justice Committee, An Toaiseach, Joan Burton, Kevin Humphreys, Eamon Gilmore, etc.

Documents with evidence of State cover-up and corruption were also sent to members of the Northern Ireland Assembly on our visit to Stormont in December 2014, also to Minister for Justice in Northern Ireland Mr David Ford whom I met with. In May 2015 similar documents were given to our MEP’s in the European Parliament in Brussels.

On July 21, 2015, I attended the 2016 MacGill Summer School for the debate entitled, The justice system – where stands reform? At question time, I addressed Shane’s horrific death and the cover-up that followed, I said to Minister Fitzgerald that we are frequently told that no one is above the law, even those appointed to uphold and administrate the law, yet she has failed to act on wrongdoing in this case, irregularities that occurred in the court to protect the gardaí in their failure.

I again asked for a Public Inquiry into his killing and the cover-up that followed. I said that I am not going away. Her reply was, ‘this case is under investigation’. Please note this was the same response from Minister Fitzgerald one year ago (July 2014) at the MacGill Summer School on a similar debate about justice.

Frances Fitzgerald has failed Shane and our family. She has failed to investigate the very serious wrongdoing by the prosecution which she has had evidence since May 2014. She is prizing loyalty over honesty.

Surely if the truth is not told in a court of law by the prosecution, this is a serious problem. I always believed evidence was all that was needed, it is not, because who do you bring it to? Very serious evidence of wrongdoing is being ignored by Frances Fitzgerald.

I will see them in Strasbourg.

Previously: Not Going Away

Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet


Lucia and Jim O’Farrell, top, and their late son, Shane

Sunday will mark the fourth anniversary of the death of Shane O’Farrell.

Shane was killed in a hit-and-run in Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan by Zigimantus Gridziuska, from Lithuania, on August 2, 2011.

Gridziuska was on bail for several offences at the time and was on suspended sentences in the Republic and the North that should have been activated prior to August 2, 2011.

He was stopped by the Garda Drug Squad just an hour before the hit-and-run and was allowed to continue driving despite having no tax.

Family friend Catherine Costello writes:

Shane’s loving parents Lucia and Jim and his older sisters are in a very anguished state and please ask your readers  to pray for them on Sunday. Their pain makes me ashamed to be Irish aided and abetted by sheer incompetence.

Earlier this month Lucia travelled to the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Donegal to speak to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald about her son’s death but only managed tell her: ‘I’m not going away, you know.’

Mrs O’Farrell has begun legal action against An Garda Síochána, the Minister for Justice, and the State over Shane’s death. She is also suing the Minister, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Garda Commissioner, along with Gridziuska.

Ms O’Farrell was among a delegation of families who travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels in May, in an effort to seek justice for their dead relatives. The delegation was accompanied by former Garda John Wilson and journalist Gemma O’Doherty.

Bail reform too late for victims of 10,600 crimes (Maeve Sheehan, Sunday Independent)

Previously: Delay, Deny, Lie Then And Cover-Up

Thanks Catherine Costelloe

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 17.15.10

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 16.09.33

And earlier…

Previously: Delay, Deny Then Cover-up