Thursday 19 October 2017

Family left in the dark for six years over why man who killed their son was not in custody

Parents Lucia and Jim O’Farrell hold a picture of their late son Shane O’Farrell (23). Photo: Damien Eagers
Parents Lucia and Jim O’Farrell hold a picture of their late son Shane O’Farrell (23). Photo: Damien Eagers
John Downing

John Downing

The grieving family of a 23-year-old man have yet to get a full explanation into his hit-and-run killing - almost six years after the incident.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for full public inquiry into the Garda handling of the death of Shane O'Farrell on August 2, 2011.

Mr Martin told the Dáil that the driver of the car which killed Mr O'Farrell should have been in custody for previous offences.

Law graduate Shane was cycling home on the evening in question and was just outside Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan when he was mown down by the driver.

Mr Martin told the Dáil that an hour before the incident, the car in question had been stopped by gardaí in a drugs check.

The gardaí ensured the passenger and driver swapped places, and did not check for insurance, while the car had no NCT certificate.

The Fianna Fáil leader said it was time for a public inquiry.

He said efforts by the young man's parents, Lucia and Jim O'Farrell, to get satisfactory explanations had not been given a fair response.

Replying for the Government, Education Minister Richard Bruton expressed heartfelt sympathy with the O'Farrell family.

However, he could not say whether a public inquiry could be possible.

"I don't have sufficient access to the facts and detail," he said, pledging to pass on Mr Martin's concerns to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Mr Bruton said the Government had taken many steps to strengthen oversight of the Garda and the justice system.

It had set up a Policing Authority and a number of investigations to improve matters.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin supported the concerns raised by Fianna Fáil.

Mr Howlin said progress on much-needed Garda reforms was too slow and the Government and the Garda Commissioner needed to speed things up.

Irish Independent

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