Tuesday 23 January 2018

Shatter to answer questions about death of cadet David

Maria Pepper

The Minister for Defence, Alan Shatter, has agreed to meet the family of Air Corps cadet David Jevens this week, to answer questions about investigations into their son's death.

Minister Shatter made a statement in the Dáil last week about a military Court of Inquiry into the plane crash which killed 22-year-old David and his flight instructor Captain Derek Furniss in Connemara in October 2009.

He said the report contained opinions which the family felt raised questions about their son's role in the tragic event.

'For the record, I would again like to reassure them that this line of argument is not supported in any report and has never been given any official credence.'

'All of the reports agreed that Cadet Jevens bore no responsibility of any kind for the accident,' said the Minister.

Minister Shatter has arranged to meet David's father Donal and his mother Elizabeth in Leinster House this Thursday.

Deputy Shatter will be accompanied at the meeting by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and the Secretary General of the Department of Defence.

Donal Jevens welcomed the Minister's Dáil statement which was made in response to a question from Fianna Fail Defence Spokesman, Deputy Sean O Fearghaíl.

'We are happy with what he said but there are still questions that need to be answered in relation to how the Court of Inquiry was carried out,' said Donal, adding that it did not adhere to its own terms of reference and Defence Force regulations.

The family want an explanation as to why the evidence of a military witness and a civilian witness which contradicted the cockpit voice recording, was accepted by the Court of Inquiry without question.

'We've been waiting a year to get this meeting,' said Donal, who is due to appear in Galway Circuit Court on February 27, in a civil case against the State.

He is suing the Department of Defence, the Attorney General and Ireland for damages and is also demanding a public apology for his son's death.

New Ross Standard

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