Tag Archives: Shane O’Farrell

From top: Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny; Lucia and Jim O’Farrell and their late son, Shane

This afternoon.

At 1pm, the Dáil will vote on a Fianna Fáil motion regarding the terms of reference into a review of Shane O’Farrell’s death by Judge Gerard Haughton.

On Tuesday night, after Fianna Fáil moved its motion, Sinn Féin introduced an amendment.

SInn Fein TD Martin Kenny said:

“Sinn Féin has tabled an amendment to the motion, which we will move. It is a very short amendment and relates to the relationship, official and unofficial, of Mr. Gridziuska with An Garda Síochána handlers of informers.

We feel, as would anyone looking at this situation, there is an issue here that has not been recognised heretofore and that needs to be included in any scoping exercise or fair review of what happened because we believe that that particular issue has in many cases around the country led to tragic circumstances.

This is only one of such tragic circumstances.

The Minister’s pronouncement that he is determined to recognise that the law has to be followed and to ensure that it is followed properly in all of this would sound good if we were in a situation where people could see evidence of that.

The evidence before us is that the Government is continuing to shift the situation to one side and to ensure that that will not happen.

I hope that the Minister will withdraw the Government amendment this evening, that both the Government and Fianna Fáil will accept our amendment, which was tabled in good faith, and that the Government will support the amended motion to ensure it delivers on this.

Supporting this motion, which undoubtedly will get through when it is voted on at the end of this week, is only one thing. It puts in place a motion that does not bind the Government but it needs to step up to the mark and ensure it delivers for this family.”

Later, Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan said:

“I have not had an opportunity to consider the Sinn Féin amendment but, to judge from what Deputy Adams stated, the issue Sinn Féin seems to want to have included is whether or not the Lithuanian man was in any way involved in working as an informer for An Garda Síochána.

I had never heard that before, I am not aware of it and I do not think it has been suggested before.”

Transcript here.

More as we get it.

Previously: Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet

Tonight since 8pm.

In the Dáil.

A debate has been under way in relation to a Fianna Fáil Private Members Motion on the terms of reference of the scoping exercise into the death of Shane O’Farrell.

It follows the family of the late Shane O’Farrell highlighting the Department of Justice’s rejection of terms of reference drawn up by District Court Judge Gerard Haughton who was appointed by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to chair the scoping exercise into the 23-year-old law student’s death.

Earlier: “We’re Hoping To Get Support From Other Parties” [Updated]

This afternoon.

A statement released by the family of the late Shane O’Farrell.

EARLIER:

Terms of reference submitted by Judge Gerard Haughton for a scoping exercise into the death of Shane O’Farrell; terms of reference set by the Department of Justice; Lucia and Jim O’Farrell with their daughters outside Garda HQ in Phoenix Park in January

This afternoon.

Further to the family of the late Shane O’Farrell highlighting the Department of Justice’s rejection of terms of reference drawn up by District Court Judge Gerard Haughton who was appointed by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to chair a scoping exercise into the death of 23-year-old Shane…

Daniel McConnell, in The Irish Examiner, reports:

Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to reverse its decision and permit an inquiry into the death of Monaghan man Shane O’Farrell proceed.

…The party’s Justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan has said the purpose of his private members’ bill is to pressure the Government to accept the original terms of reference for an inquiry as produced by Judge Haughton,

The purpose of the motion this evening is very simple. We want to get down there and to approve the terms of reference that were put forward by Judge Houghton in April of this year, we believe they are satisfactory that they will achieve the purpose and spirits of what’s all there and voted for in June of 2018.

“We’re hoping to get support from other parties, and we believe we will,” he said.

Fianna Fáil calls on Govt to permit inquiry into death of Monaghan man Shane O’Farrell (Daniel McConnell, The Irish Examiner)

Lucia and Jim O’Farrell with their daughters outside Garda HQ in Phoenix Park in January of this year; the late Shane O’Farrell

This morning.

The family of the late Shane O’Farrell will hold a demonstration outside Leinster House before meeting with TDs, including Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan.

They plan to discuss the Department of Justice’s rejection of terms of reference drawn up by District Court Judge Gerard Haughton who was appointed by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to chair a scoping exercise into the death of 23-year-old Shane.

Shane was killed on August 2, 2011, while cycling home when he was struck by a car driven by Zigimantas Gridzuiska.

The O’Farrell family have been campaigning for several years for not only the matters leading up to Shane’s death to be investigated but, also, for their concerns about matters which occurred after Shane’s death to also be examined.

In March 2018, the Dáil voted by a majority of two to one for a commission of investigation to be set up to investigate Shane’s death.

The same motion was carried in the Seanad in February 2019, with Senator David Norris telling the Seanad:

“Since that vote [in the Dáil] eight months ago the family has discovered that two statements given by Zigimantas Gridziuska were altered by the Garda for the inquest into Shane’s horrific death. This is most extraordinary. Left out was reference to his heroin problem.

“Those statements were not redacted: they were completely removed and the sentences joined up. These incomplete statements would only have been noticed if compared with the original statements. It is very much in the public interest that there would be a public inquiry in line with what the other House has already decided…”

In the same month, February 2019, Minister Flanagan chose to launch a scoping inquiry instead of a commission of investigation – despite the votes in the Dáil and Seanad – and appointed Judge Haughton to carry this out.

However, the O’Farrell family believe that the department’s rejection of the judge’s proposed terms of reference “undermines the scoping inquiry” and that the new terms put forth by the department “are deliberately narrow”.

Judge Haughton submitted his terms of reference – considered after he met the family and which the family respected – to the Department of Justice on April 24, 2019.

However, according to the family, the department has:

Removed references to Shane and the family’s rights under the ECHR to ensure an effective investigation into the unlawful killing. To date the State has failed in its obligations under the ECHR;

Removed consideration of the prosecution of Shane’s case,

Removed any consideration of the Coroner’s Inquest into Shane’s death, in which serious irregularities have emerged;

Removed any investigation into the previous prosecutions of the accused (despite him being in breach of multiple counts of bail when he killed Shane);

Limited the judge to take into account the outcome of reports prepared (being reports which in the families view are deficient), rather than a review of the investigations behind these reports, as originally envisaged in the February terms of reference.

This morning, the family have said:

“An independent public inquiry is the last chance for the State to meet its ECHR obligations to investigate properly Shane’s unlawful killing and to carry out an effective investigation into the true and full circumstances of the unlawful killing and the role of State authorities in Shane’s death.

“The family has the utmost respect for Judge Haughton, however the family believe that the terms of reference now proposed by the department do not reflect the spirit of the Dáil and Seanad resolution.

“These terms will not allow the inquiry to ascertain the full and relevant facts pertaining to Shane’s case and appear to be an attempt to curtail the scope of the Inquiry and further delay matters.

“The terms proposed by the department would lead to a narrow and unfair consideration of the complex legal and public policy issues that are at play in Shane’s case and they are not sufficiently broad or exhaustive to address the State’s ECHR obligations.

“The family attend Dáil Éireann today in a bid to secure truth and justice on Shane’s behalf.

“This requires a public inquiry to establish the truth of what happened and we will be making representations to TDs today seeking that the resolution of the Dáil and Seanad for a public inquiry is followed.”

Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania, who had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time, should have been in jail when he struck Shane.

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.

Related: The road to truth in Shane O’Farrell case getting narrower and narrower (Michael Clifford, The Irish Examiner)

Previously: Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet

Lucia and Jim O’Farrell with their daughters outside Garda HQ in Phoenix Park last month

Yesterday.

It was announced that the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan had appointed District Court judge Gerard Haughton to carry out a ‘scoping review’ of certain matters “surrounding the circumstances leading to” the hit-and-run death of 23-year-old Shane O’Farrell and Judge Haughton will report back in eight weeks.

However, the O’Farrell family have been campaigning for several years for not only the matters leading up to Shane’s death to be investigated but, also, for their concerns about matters which occurred after Shane’s death to also be examined.

The minister told the Government of his decision yesterday morning, while he met with members of the O’Farrell family yesterday afternoon.

The decision to have a scoping inquiry follows a 2:1 vote in the Dáil last summer for a public inquiry last June.

The family have since said the scoping inquiry falls short of the public inquiry they have been calling for.

Shane’s sister Gemma O’Farrell spoke to Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning about their meeting with Minister Flanagan yesterday.

She said:

“We expressed our surprise at this new process. As you know, we’ve been engaging with various State bodies for the last seven years.

We’ve, in my view, have exhausted all the areas, civil and criminal, statutory mechanisms available to us and, in our view a public inquiry is now what is required to get answers into Shane’s unlawful killing and what exactly happened which we feel we have not gotten, notwithstanding having gone through the criminal trial and GSOC etc.

“So we expressed that to the Minister yesterday and referred him back to the Dáil vote and asked that he would direct for a public inquiry at this point.

“However, he has decided now to introduce this new mechanism and process which is somewhat disappointing when he has the opportunity now just to direct a public inquiry so we can get to the bottom of these various questions which we are seeking at this point.”

“…Minister Flanagan is presenting this process now somewhat as a solution but it feels like another obstacle which has now been placed in our path which we now have to engage with for another period of time and incur further delay in getting to the bottom and getting answers to these questions.”

The terms of reference of Judge Haughton’s review are:

1. To review the investigations that have already taken place into the circumstances of the death of Mr O’Farrell, namely the criminal prosecution of Mr Zigimantas Gridziuska; the review by the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM); the criminal investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC); and the subsequent disciplinary investigation by GSOC;

2. To review changes that have been made to the law and practice in relation to the administration of bail and bench warrants and the extent to which they have or have not addressed gaps in those systems since the death of Mr O’Farrell;

3. Based on the reviews at 1. and 2. above to advise the Minister for Justice and Equality:

If there are any remaining unanswered questions in relation to the circumstances of Mr O’Farrell’s death that should be the subject of further inquiry or investigation; and
If there are, the most appropriate manner in which they should be investigated, having regard to the statutory independence of bodies such as the courts, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

4. If an investigation or inquiry is recommended to draft terms of reference for said investigation/inquiry;

5. To make enquiries with persons or bodies that he/she considers appropriate in relation to the review;

6. To report to the Minister for Justice and Equality within 8 weeks of commencement with an interim report indicating, inter alia, the expected timeframe for completion of the scoping exercise.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania, who had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time, should have been in jail when he struck Shane.

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.

Listen back to Gemma O’Farrell’s interview on Morning Ireland in full here

Pic: Conor Hunt

Previously: Shane O’Farrell on Broadsheet


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

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.

However.

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)

Meanwhile…

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

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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