Receipt Of Indifference

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A letter sent in January 2014, by Lucia O’Farrell to Nick Reddy, private secretary to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, requesting a meeting with Mr Kenny

Lucia O’Farrell, mother of Shane O’Farrell, has repeatedly requested a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to no avail.

Shane, then 23, was killed in a hit-and-run in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan by Zigimantus Gridziuska, from Lithuania, on August 2, 2011. Gridziuska’s was on bail at the time.

An hour before Shane was killed, the Garda Drugs Squad pulled over the car that Gridziuska was travelling in, along with Paulius Paplauskas/Petrosas and Edgars Zelenousy, on suspicion that they had drugs in their possession. Zelenousy was driving the car when it was pulled over. The O’Farrell family understand the gardaí asked the men to get out of the car, searched them and then got Zelenousy to switch with Gridziuska, resulting in Gridziuska being behind the wheel. Zelenousy had no insurance. The car was then waved on.

Following Shane’s death, Gridziuska was arrested and appeared in court on August 4, 2011. Gridziuska’s numerous suspended sentences were not activated and gardaí did not object to him getting bail.

Eight days later, he was found in possession of heroin.

At his trial in February 2013, he pleaded guilty to failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of the crash but was acquitted of dangerous driving causing death. Judge Pat McCartan gave him an eight-month suspended sentence on February 28, 2013, on condition he left the country within 21 days.

But this condition was never met because, on March 6, 2013, Gridziuska appeared in Carrickmacross District Court for insurance fraud and 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.

A file in relation to Gridziuska’s insurance fraud had been compiled for five months before Gridziuska went on trial for Shane’s death. During Gridziuska’s sentencing over Shane’s death, Judge Pat McCartan asked if there was anything coming up in the pipeline for Gridziuska but the State solicitor failed to notify the judge about the file on insurance fraud.

Gridziuska’s trial finished on February 28, 2013. The insurance fraud file was submitted to the DPP the very next day, on March 1, 2014.

Lucia writes:

I sent a letter to Nick Reddy, private secretary to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, by registered post in January 2014, requesting a meeting with Mr Kenny. I did not get a meeting. I wrote back on May 8, 2014, also by registered post, requesting a meeting but I did not get a meeting.

An Taoiseach can meet someone from outside this jurisdiction, yet cannot meet families of injustice in his own country. He has failed his people. I understand there is going to be a full Dáil debate on the [Maíria Cahill] controversy next week. I sincerely hope that he also holds a Dâil debate on the killing of our son, Shane, due to Garda failure.

I understand, the Taoiseach promised that the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, is going to contact her counterpart in the North, David Forde, to discuss cooperation in handling the [Maíria Cahill] issue. I also hope she also contacts David Forde to discuss how a Lithuanian heroin addict could be given a suspended sentence in Newry, go on to kill our son two weeks later, and then, six weeks after killing Shane, get another two weeks in custody in Belfast.

Previously: ‘Delay, Deny Then Cover-Up’

Failure Of Duty

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30 thoughts on “Receipt Of Indifference

  1. Soundings

    Why is she bothering the prime minister of the country with this. Why doesn’t she complain to the statutory body set up to investigate Garda malfeasance – GSOC. Tragic case, but why do we revert to what are essentially mediocre generalists whenever we have a problem, when there are already expert agencies set up for this stuff.

    1. ReproBertie

      According to the Broadsheet story from August linked to at the bottom of this piece “GSOC are currently carrying out a public interest inquiry into the case of Shane O’Farrell.”

          1. fmong

            a bit of a coincidence, no?

            “As of September 2012, there were 2,199 members of the Law Library… …321 were Senior Counsel.”

            were the other 320 busy?

    2. obriendj

      Why is she bothering the head of the country about this?

      Because she is not getting the Justice she deserves. And until things like this actually get into the media nothing is done. What the hell would you do?

      The people below the Taoiseach are not doing their job, and he shouldnt be bothered with this, (the same way he shouldnt have been bothered with the Garth Brooks not playing croke park, but that is the general public for you)

    3. Itchysays

      @Soundings..the display of ignorance (did you even bother to read the entire letter never mind the widely reported facts of this case) and total lack of humility towards the parent of a murdered son (insert YOUR brothers,sisters,sons name here) driven to write such letter having been fobbed off by every `relevant` department and `statutory body` who, no doubt, share the same pathetic indifference you display here, is to be commended as truly the thoughts of a sad and lacking individual …you enjoy your day now !

    4. mike

      Indeed, I don’t believe Mrs Farrell should be bothering the “prime minister” about her tragic loss. But she is justified in her anger at the Taoiseach’s actions in taking on the Maria Cahill issue.

      The difference is that there is a possible political hit to be scored on Sinn Fein by the Taoiseach meeting Maria Cahill. There is no apparent political gain in condemning nationals of other countries who commit crime here and no further action he can take to prevent it.

      I’m not a SF supporter, but I think the politicians are using Maria Cahill just for politcial point scoring.

      1. Mé Féin

        While I agree, I think the Farrell case involves much more serious issues related to the courts and policing. Something is clearly broken and lives are being lost as a result. It is 100% Kenny’s business.

  2. Zynks

    This is terrible. If this guy is not doing serious time behind bars, who is? Are we really becoming a country where big crime of any kind goes unpunished while people struggling to play by the book end up in jail for petty things like tv licenses?

  3. YourNan

    sure most offenders in this country have a a list as long as your arm of previous offences, the entire system is ineffective and I suspect there are many people, including the “free” legal aid teams who are more than happy to keep things this way and maintains their steady flow of work. Maybe in another 100 years time this country will have matured a bit.

  4. Der Howard

    Lucia,

    I hear so much pain in your words. My heart goes out to you.
    Thank you for your efforts to make our country more just.
    Keep it up, I hope you find some peace.

    Der

  5. Max Power

    absolute terrible story. It just shows what a disgrace this countrys justice system is and how its run.
    Bring in zero tolerance and corporal punishment….these feckers know they will get away with anything or do very little time. Gardai or the law dont worry these people. Its sickening.

  6. Murtles

    The lack of prison spaces in this country propagates the suspended sentencing and revolving door system that is the Justice System and the Irish Prison Service. Not so long ago at a district court in the Northwest, two men were sentenced to prison time and had to be taxied to Mountjoy with two Gardai as no prison van was available. They were dropped off and the Gardai came back in the taxi. 6 hours later while sitting at the taxi rank, the driver got a knock on the bonnet and a thumbs up from the two lads he dropped off. He asked them how they got out so quick. “No room at the inn” was the reply and they told him of how they got vouchered for two train tickets home. The Gardai can work their ar5es off to catch criminals till the cows come home, but until sentencing gets real, they’re band aids for a problem that requires a cast.

  7. mauriac

    judges should be encouraged to order deportations for foreigners breaking the law.other European countries do it.dodgy under e.u. law but let them take a case … from Lithuania.

  8. ahjayzis

    My parents, in their 50’s and the nicest, most inoffensive couple you could meet, were walking the dog through Corkagh Park one early evening last year and were set upon and beaten up by a gang of 18-20 odd year olds off their absolute faces on drugs for, no reason, for sport.

    There were witnesses, my parents got a good description, they were apprehended, identified, and released. My dad spent 14 hours waiting in A&E with an eye so swollen it closed up. That’s 14 hours more than the scum of the earth who did it ever spent paying for it. From the day of the crime the guards acted like social workers for the ringleader – he had an awful childhood, his parents were wrecks, he’s very troubled – actually making excuses for him to the victims. A few weeks later they’re informed the DPP declined to prosecute.

    There’s no justice in Ireland. This would have been open and shut in any other comparable country. I just hope the prick doesn’t have a knife next time he takes on two middle-aged people walking their dog in the park for a bit of fun.

    1. obriendj

      Very sorry to hear this about your family.
      If they get away with it they will continue to do it.

      This is what we should be protesting about! not the free commodity that we have been getting but the damn justice system. if there is no room then make F.N. room.
      I would consider myself left wing- ish but when it comes to criminals there is only one solution – to stop them doing it again. Punish them. I am all for counselling in prisons but for the other 23 hours in the day lock them away in a small room and not a “luxury” pad bigger than my apartment (which costs me a fortune in property tax)

  9. Atticus

    They should say that there was a Shinner in the passenger seat. I reckon they’d be in a meeting with the Teashop in no time.

    1. abaddon

      If Mrs. O’Farrell said there was a shinner in the front seat the Irish Independent would do a 12 page pullout on it with RTE, Newstalk and TodayFM doing hourly interviews about it.

      This really shows how little respect Enda Kenny has for the office he holds.

  10. Kolmo

    Remarkable restraint of the victims family. I doubt many people here would be so clear thinking in the same situation – why hasn’t this person met the Taoiseach for clarification as to why the reported lethal parasite is still in circulation? We all know why.
    The highest paid judiciary in the world – keeping the lid on the dustbin for 200+ years.

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