Tag Archives: Lucia O’Farrell


Lucia and Jim O’Farrell with their daughters outside Garda HQ this morning; Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

This morning, at 11.30am, the family of the late Shane O’Farrell will meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at Garda HQ in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Shane was 23 and cycling home when he was killed in a hit-and-run in Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan by Zigimantus Gridziuska, from Lithuania, on August 2, 2011.

At the time of Shane’s death, Gridziuska had 42 previous convictions and he was in breach of multiple bail orders and suspended sentences.

In addition, about an hour before Shane was killed, the Garda Drugs Squad pulled over the car 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, thus 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 the car he was driving was found concealed in bushes.

He was eventually acquitted of dangerous driving causing death.

He pleaded guilty to failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of the crash and he received an eight-month suspended sentence 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 eight months or leaving the country and he chose the latter.

During the sentencing of Gridzisuka, Shane’s mum 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.

But it wasn’t.

On March 1, 2013 – one day after Gridziuska dangerous driving trial finished – the file on Gridziuska’s insurance fraud was submitted to the DPP.

Then 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.

On June 14 last, a motion was accepted in the Dail calling on the Government to establish a public inquiry into Shane’s death but such an inquiry has yet to be established.

On the same day, in the Seanad, the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan admitted:

“It is clear there are a number of troubling matters surrounding the circumstances leading up to the road traffic incident in which Shane O’Farrell’s life was cut tragically short. The GSOC report clearly identifies those matters.

“They were, in fact, failures. In the debate in the other House last Tuesday, I was emphatic that I accepted that they were failures. A man, who had numerous previous convictions, including for theft, drugs and road traffic offences, and who was on bail at the time of the incident, had also been arrested for other offences while on bail.

“We all know there are laws related to the obligations on those who obtain release on bail and there are sanctions if those bail conditions are breached. Unfortunately in this particular case those sanctions were not implemented and there was a failing.

“…The failings in the follow-up following a breach of a bail condition is unacceptable.”

Ahead of her meeting with the Garda Commissioner this morning, Lucia writes:

“Gridziuska would have been in jail if the gardai had done their basic duty, in accordance of the orders of various courts. Bail had no legal meaning for Gridziuska or the gardai. We are seven years with no answers and no accountability.”

Previously: Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet

Pic: Conor Hunt

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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

LuciaHusband

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’

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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

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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

mariefarrell

Lucia O’Farrell

You may know the case of hit-and-run victim, Shane O’Farrell, is one of the 282 cases of alleged Garda misconduct being examined by a panel of two senior and five junior counsel.

The panel was established by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald following the publication of the Guerin Report which looked at the handling of allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe about gardaí and the Department of Justice. 

The Department of Justice wrote to Ms O’Farrell to tell her Shane’s case was being included in this review, on August 8, 2014.

In relation to the review, Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil last Wednesday:

The review of each allegation consists of an examination of the papers by a counsel from the panel and does not involve interviews or interaction with complainants or any other form of investigation, although counsel may recommend that I seek further information to assist in coming to an appropriate recommendation in any particular case.”

Ms Fitzgerald, in response to a question from Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, said:

“This is an opportunity to go through the detailed information on cases and we have asked everyone to submit material in writing. In many cases there is a considerable amount of correspondence. If there is nothing in writing I call on Deputy Collins to encourage people to put as much in writing as they can. We have put no limitation on the material that can be submitted and indeed extra material has been submitted in several cases.”

However, Lucia O’Farrell says:

“Perhaps Ms Fitzgerald could identify to me when she asked ‘everyone to submit material in writing’? I find this response unusual as neither in the letter to me or letters to Senator David Norris or John McGuinness or Finian McGrath (who wrote to her on my behalf), did she ask for materials to be submitted to to her. They appear to be making it up as they go along.”

“Initially, when the two senior counsels were appointed, this review was to take eight to 12 weeks. Therefore this would be due out soon. How can they now say on the Dáil floor, at the end of September, “we asked everyone to submit material in writing”?

“What about all the other families, who did not hear this on Wednesday, or who don’t have the internet, or can’t get broadband? I phoned around to inform who I could.

Last Friday, and in response to Ms Fitzgerald’s comments made in the Dáil, Ms O’Farrell drove from her home in Monaghan to Dublin, to deliver material to the Department of Justice at Stephen’s Green.

She says:

“I asked the desk person/security to phone upstairs for the person who was aware I was coming with this material. This call was made, but the secretary to minister Fitzgerald, Chris Quattrociocchi, refused to send anyone down stairs to collect and sign for the material which was in a brown A4 envelope. I left it with the desk person.”

Meanwhile, one of the Senior Counsel appointed to the review is Conor Devally – who defended Zigimantus Gridziuska, the man who killed Shane O’Farrell.

The O’Farrell family have since been told that Mr Devally won’t be involved in the Shane O’Farrell case due to a conflict of interest.

Despite this, Mr Devally will receive a brief fee of €20,000 to oversee all the complaints. The other senior counsel involved is Aileen Donnelly, who was made a High Court judge last week.

On foot of this appointment, Ms O’Farrell asks:

“Will she continue in the capacity as SC in this review process? Will she be replaced? If she is not replaced, will Connor Devally be overseeing all cases?”

The junior counsel include: Paul Carroll, John Fitzgerald, Tony McGuillicuddy, Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin and Karen O’Connor.

Previously: “Delay, Deny, Lie, Then Cover Up”

LuciaHusband

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

Lucia O’Farrell’s 23-year-old son, Shane, was killed in a hit-and-run in Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan by Zigimantus Gridziuska, from Lithuania, on August 2, 2011.

Gridziuska was acquitted of dangerous driving causing death. 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, Ms 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.

But 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.

On February 6, 2013, Lucia O’Farrell sent a letter to Fiona Downes, prosecution solicitor of Circuit Court Section at DPP office, stating:

‘Thank you for your reply dealing with my conversation yesterday, Tue 5th February 2013. I asked if those charges of fraud relating to the insurance held by the accused could be included in the trial commencing on 11th of February 2013. Your letter states that you are waiting on the file from the Garda and therefore the decision to prosecute can not be made yet.

‘On Friday, 1st February, I was speaking to the investigating officer. He informed me that the investigation is complete except for the interview. I informed the gardaí on the 17th of September 2012 to formally request to have his insurance checked. It is now February 2013 (almost five months ago). In view that it is almost five months since I brought it to their attention, I fail to understand why there is a delay now – when we know the file is complete. This is very relevant to a charge of dangerous driving causing death. The judge should have this information. It’s not as if he is up for burglary.’

‘The gardai failed to formally request and check the accused’s insurance within the six months [of Shane’s death] and now I question who’s benefit the delay is for. I spoke with [redacted] yesterday, Tuesday, 5th [February] pm and he informed me the delay was ‘Dublin’. The DPP are informing me it’s the Garda. Which is it? And why?

‘I am confused as to why the insurance of the accused has to wait until after the trial. What is in the file that the judge will have in front of him? Will it state or imply that the accused had valid insurance? Will it state or imply that the accused’s insurance was checked and in order? Can he be charged with the fraud offence before sentencing? – so as not to mislead the court that he had valid insurance on the evening of August 2, 2011. This is the duty of the State to inform and not mislead the judge. I am formally asking you that he be charged with fraud before sentencing. Thank you again for all your assistance.”

On March 11, 2013, Ms O’Farrell wrote to Supt Gerard Russell, from Carrickmacross District Division of Cavan/Monaghan, stating:

On September 7, 2012, we brought formally to your attention requesting to have the accused’s insurance checked, for the date of August 2, 2011 when my son was murdered by a Lithuanian who was on bail at the time. We also requested the insurance details of this evil man, this was over a year after Shane was cruelly and inhumanely killed, and five months before the trial.

‘As you are aware the Gardai failed to formally request to have this insurance checked. When this was brought to your attention (by our family, one year later) it was statue barred, so therefore the accused could not be charged or convicted for not having valid insurance. The garda had failed in their duty, to Shane and to our family. We also formally asked the gardai and raised several issues on October 26, 2012 regarding the accused’s insurance. Travellers Insurance stated to me that ‘we are waiting for the gardai to formally request to have this insurance checked and this has not been done and we can’t tell the gardai how to do their job’.

‘On December 13, 2012, I wrote a four-page letter [sent by registered post] to you requesting each and every insurance policy held by the accused and each and every related insurance policy held by the accused (including current policy) to be checked since he came into the country. This letter was CCed to GSOC. We have been informed that the fraud relating to insurance policies was being checked. We were informed that this is an indictable offence, under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001. We were told by you that this indictable offence would be dealt with in a circuit court in front of a judge and jury. We were also informed that the “penalty for this is five years and that the facts will speak for themselves”. Why then did you agree to have this heard in a district court? (Where you know that the maximum he would get would be six months).

‘As you are aware we asked for the insurance fraud to be included in the proceedings of the case of dangerous driving causing death of our son Shane…This was not included, as to do so would have highlighted the fact that the Gardai failed to have the insurance checked in time, within the six months (after he killed Shane).’

Coincidentally, Shane’s case finished on the last day of February 2013, and the file (which was over five months being prepared) was submitted the very next day. How convenient. This file on serious fraud “where all the facts will speak for themselves”, and which was five months being prepared, was submitted on March 1, 2013, to the DPP office so as to separate it from the tragic killing of Shane. It would not look good to link this serious insurance fraud with the death of Shane.’

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has ordered a panel of barristers to review Shane’s case and 220 others where alleged garda inadaquecy, competence or corruption are involved. One of the Senior Counsel overseeing the process is Conor Devally, who defended Gridziuska.

On Drivetime last night, Ms O’Farrell told Philip Boucher Hayes:

“Two weeks ago, I attended the Macgill Summer School and I listened to the debate on openness, transparency and accountability. And they’re quick to use these words, they flow off their lips – a new era and openness and transparency. And I raised a question, I raised Shane’s question about his death and his unlawful killing, and I wanted a public inquiry. I shouldn’t have to drive to Donegal, to the Glenties to get, to raise a question. I have been trying for days to ring the department but there’s nobody willing to speak. They’re not at their desk or they’re at a meeting.

“I think families have been failed hugely. I think Nigel Rodley said, very rightly, in Geneva a few weeks ago that Ireland’s answer to every scandal and when will they stop, replying to every scandal with, first, delay, then deny, then lie, then cover-up and then eventually they’re forced to throw money at it and hope it goes away. They talk about openness and transparency and accountability, they don’t mean a word of it, there’s no evidence of that.”

Meanwhile, the following is a short timeline of some of the Gridziuska’s criminal history which shows how – had his bail been revoked at numerous points – he may not have been driving the car on the day Shane died.

May 9, 2011: Gridziuska gets a four-month suspended sentence at Ardee District Court in Co. Louth for five counts of theft. The charges are in relation to him stealing five times, over five consecutive days, from Lidl. His sentence is suspended for two years. At this point, Gridziuska is already supposed to be adhering to a condition of good behaviour in relation to a case that was adjourned for a year, in Monaghan Circuit Court in January 2011.

July 6, 2011: The Garda Drugs Squad pull over Gridziuska and find on the dashboard what they believe to be the charred remains of tinfoil and heroin that somebody had been smoking. After taking the remains, Gridziuska is waved on. The car has no NCT at the time.

July 14, 2011: Gridziuska is arrested in Newry, Co Down, for three counts of theft. He pleads guilty to each count and receives a five-month sentence for each count, suspended for two years. The PSNI contact the gardaí to confirm Gridziuska’s address.  At this point Gridziuska is already on bail for theft charges in Co. Cavan and isn’t supposed to leave the jurisdiction. He is also supposed to be signing on at a garda station daily.

July 27, 2011: The charred remains are sent to a forensic lab. It’s later confirmed that the remains contained heroin.

August 2, 2011: The Garda Drugs Squad pull over the car that Gridziuska is travelling in, along with Paulius Paplauskas/Petrosas and Edgars Zelenousy, on suspicion that they had drugs in their possession. Zelenousy is driving the car when it’s 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, thus resulting in Gridziuska being behind the wheel. Zelenousy has no insurance. The car is then waved on.

Later that evening, Shane O’Farrell is killed in a hit-and-run, in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, by Gridziuska.

August 3, 2011: Gridziuska is arrested and the car he was driving is found concealed in bushes.

August 4, 2011: Gridzuiska is brought to Dundalk Court for a special sitting. Gridziuska’s suspended sentences are not activated and the gardai do not object to him getting bail.

August 12, 2011: Gridziuska is found in possession of heroin.

September 15, 2011: After being arrested at Craigavon, Co. Armagh, Gridziuska is sentenced to two weeks in jail at Belfast Magistrates Court, after the pleads guilty to two counts of theft. At this point Gridziuska is supposed to be signing on at Carrickmacross Garda Station in Co. Monaghan three times a week but he isn’t missed by gardai.

GSOC are currently carrying out a public interest inquiry into the case of Shane O’Farrell.

mariefarrell
Lucia O’Farrell

Lucia O’Farrell appeared on TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne Show last night to discuss the case of her son Shane who was killed by a hit-and-run driver outside Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan on August 2, 2011

The man who struck Shane was Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania.

He was acquitted of dangerous driving causing death and he was given the choice of eight months in jail or to leave Ireland within 21 days. He chose the latter with appalling consequences.

Later, Senator David Norris said  he had contacted Justice Minister Alan Shatter about the case. and was told the family might consider counselling.

Lucia O’Farrell: “Shane was 23, he returned from college and he was to take part in a triathlon and, after having something to eat, he went out on his bike, a beautiful summer’s evening on the second of August 2011. When he hadn’t returned, Jim, my husband, and I went out and found that he had been killed in a hit and run. He was our only son, our lives had been destroyed but he was tossed on the road and left to die alone on the road in a hit and run. We were told it was a crime scene. They had nobody at the time for it.”

Vincent Browne: “And you were told that he was carried on the roof of the car for quite a distance?”

O’Farrell: “That subsequently came out in the court because they found fabrics of this clothing on the roof bonnet and windscreen of the car.”

Browne: “Right and the person who almost certainly was involved in this was a Lithuanian and he had a track record, prior to then, tell us a bit about that.”

O’Farrell: “He had come into the country, apparently he was known to Interpol. He was up for convictions for aggravated burglary, theft, road traffic offences, damage to property…”

Browne: “That was outside the country, before coming here?”

O’Farrell: “Yes, yes, and then he had 40 convictions in total on the evening of the second of August, when he killed Shane.”

Browne: “That was in Ireland?”

O’Farrell: “No, in Lithuania, Northern Ireland and here.”

Browne: “Right.”

O’Farrell: “He was well-known to the PSNI, he had served custody in the south of Ireland for heroin, he had a long criminal history, he was on a peace bond, he was on a suspended sentence, north and south of the Border, he was driving a defective vehicle, he was uninsured, he had falsified his documents since coming into the country…”

Browne: “And wasn’t there an instance where he was given a suspended sentence, subject to good behaviour, and then he was convicted of another offence and the judge in the second case was unaware of what had happened previously. The gardai failed to tell them.”

O’Farrell: “Well the reason Shane is dead is because of total Garda failure. In January 2011, seven months before Shane was killed, this man had received a ten-month sentence and it was adjourned for a year in the Circuit Court, for him to be of good behaviour with permission to bring him back at any stage if he reoffended, but four months after that decision in the Circuit Court, and I saw that order, he was up for five consecutive days of theft in another court room and the judge was unaware that he was to be brought back and gave him a four-month suspended sentence. The guards should have brought him back when he reoffended. So he now, in May, got a four-month suspended sentence and went on to kill our son. He legally shouldn’t have been on the road.”

Browne: “Right. And subsequent to the killing of your son there were further bizarre…”

O’Farrell: “Yes there were plenty of opportunities for the guards to prevent this happening. On the 6th of July, three weeks before he killed Shane, this car was killed up by the Drugs Squad, he was well known to them and he was found with a substance and charred tinfoil. Apparently this man snorted his heroin. He would put a lighter under the tinfoil and he snorted his heroin and instead of confiscating or seizing the car and preventing him driving this man was allowed continue to drive and hold a driving licence, which a person snorting heroin behind the steering wheel of a car is not conducive, because side effects of heroin…”

Browne: “OK, and in the hours before the incident, resulting in the death of your son, the gardaí were also involved?”

O’Farrell: “He was pulled up again an hour before he killed our son because the number was known to the Drugs Squad. He was found with two other Lithuanian heroin addicts, the driver was uninsured, they took them out and searched them, this car had no NCT certificate, it was driven by an uninsured driver and they were waved on. Within an hour our son was dead.”

Browne: “Subsequent to the death of your son, there were further bizarre twists to the story?”

O’Farrell: “Following killing Shane?” Continue reading