Fianna Fáil calls on Govt to permit inquiry into death of Monaghan man Shane O'Farrell

Fianna Fáil calls on Govt to permit inquiry into death of Monaghan man Shane O'Farrell
Shane O'Farrell.

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.

Mr O'Farrell was killed by a hit and run driver in 2011 in his home town of Carrickmacross and it subsequently turned out the driver had 42 previous convictions which had not been triggered.

The Dáil in 2018 voted in favour of a motion calling on the Government to establish a public inquiry into his death.

In February, Minister Charlie Flanagan appointed Judge Haughton to conduct a scoping exercise but ultimately rejected his terms of reference for such a public inquiry in July.

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.

Mr O'Callaghan said that even though he is seeking this inquiry, the O'Farrell family will not get the justice they are seeking.

“Unfortunately, and I've said this to the O'Farrell family, the family are not going to get justice in the same way as you and I would regard just as the person who knocked down their son was a question of dangerous driving causing death, but the questions that they want answered, or why was of, he was out on the roads of Ireland in 2011, particularly after May 2011 when he'd already been convicted of another offense in just records, but should have triggered his sentence, and you should have been in prison at the time and I think that's a legitimate question,” he said.

“Like no one is going to be held accountable for the death of Shane O'Farrell, but I think the family and indeed the public are entitled top these questions answered, because they had tragic consequences for Shane and his family,” he added.

Mr O'Callaghan also described tweets from his party colleague Lorraine Clifford Lee as “silly” and “inappropriate” but said she should not lose her political career over them.

“Well I've only had an opportunity to look at the tweets that have been in the media over the past couple of days, I think all of them were inappropriate the ones I saw,” he said.

I thought they were offensive, particularly to travelling people and however, She's apologised for those, I've got to say, having worked with her in the justice and equality area for the past three and a half years.

"She's always advocated the line that Fianna Fáil has put forward in terms of inclusive diversity and equality. So she obviously made silly statements,” he added.

But Mr O'Callaghan said he believes in redemption and she should not lose her job, despite calls on her to resign.

“However, she made those comments six or seven years ago. I believe in redemption, I believe in change I believe that she has now resiled from that and she's apologised for them. She said they were wrong. Everyone here recognises they were wrong.

"I would just be concerned if because of something inappropriate that somebody said, seven or eight years ago, that their political career would end on,” he said.

In response, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that in establishing the scoping exercise itself and in determining its terms of reference, he has been guided by legal advice from the Attorney General.

"In advance of finalising the terms of reference, the most recent advice available to my Department recommended more focussed and specific terms of reference to take account of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Shatter v Guerin case.

"Notwithstanding this requirement to amend the original draft terms of reference, it is importance to say clearly that there is no impediment on Judge Haughton to make any recommendation he sees fit in relation to any future inquiry," he said.

"Furthermore, the O’Farrell family are free to make any representations to Judge Haughton in relation to any matter that they would wish to see inquired into in any future inquiry. Judge Haughton is an experienced and respected Judge.

"He is also very dedicated to the work he has been asked to undertake. As I have said, the Judge is free to make any recommendation he sees fit in relation to this matter," he added.

"As Judge Haughton has been asked to make an initial report by mid-November, I am expecting to receive that interim report in the near future," Mr Flanagan said.

More on this topic

Micheál Martin signals that pact could be agreed for post-Easter general election next yearMicheál Martin signals that pact could be agreed for post-Easter general election next year

Taoiseach criticises Fianna Fáil candidate for ‘racist and bodyshaming’ tweetsTaoiseach criticises Fianna Fáil candidate for ‘racist and bodyshaming’ tweets

Lorraine Clifford-Lee to escape sanction for tweets posted before she entered politics Lorraine Clifford-Lee to escape sanction for tweets posted before she entered politics

TDs in vote controversy forced off front benchTDs in vote controversy forced off front bench


More in this Section

Drivers urged to take care on roads with snow and ice warning in placeDrivers urged to take care on roads with snow and ice warning in place

IFA to set to name new presidentIFA to set to name new president

Dublin's new 24-hour bus service deemed 'a roaring success'Dublin's new 24-hour bus service deemed 'a roaring success'

Three arrested as gardaí seize €900,000 worth of drugs in LouthThree arrested as gardaí seize €900,000 worth of drugs in Louth


Lifestyle

We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

More From The Irish Examiner