Monday 19 February 2018

Grieving family yet to get answers on son's hit-and-run killing by driver 'who should have been in jail' - Dáil hears

Calls for public inquiry into hit-and-run killing

Lucia and Jim O’Farrell, parents of hit-and-run victim Shane O’Farrell
Lucia and Jim O’Farrell, parents of hit-and-run victim Shane O’Farrell
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, the Dáil heard today.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for full public inquiry into the garda handling of the death of Shane O’Farrell in August 2011.

Mr Martin said the driver of the car which killed Mr O’Farrell should have been in custody for previous offences.

He added 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 heart-felt sympathy with the O’Farrell family. But he could not say whether a public inquiry could be possible.

“I don’t have access to sufficient access to the facts and detail,” he said, pledging to pass on Mr Martin’s concerns to the Justice Minister.

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

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