Dáil votes for full investigation into death of cyclist

The Government has been urged to immediately set up a full commission of investigation into the death of Shane O’Farrell after the Dáil voted in favour of such an inquiry.

Shane O'Farrell

The Dáil passed a Fianna Fáil motion calling for the establishment of the inquiry to investigate claims that repeated Garda failures to arrest a man who later killed the cyclist in a hit-and-run have been covered up.

The 23-year-old graduate was killed on August 22, 2011, when he was knocked off his bicycle while cycling along the N2 road outside Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan.

The driver of the car, Zigimantas Gridziuska, had previous convictions including for theft, drugs, and road traffic offences and was out on bail at the time of the crash.

The Government had opposed the motion, citing the ongoing Gsoc investigation into the death. 

However, it had indicated that it would be open to potentially setting up an inquiry in the future.

After the vote, Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said the Government must now reflect on the fact that a majority of TDs had called for a full inquiry.

Lucia O’Farrell mother of the late Shane O’Farrell. Pic: Philip Fitzpatrick

“The vote in Dáil Éireann reflects public concern about this issue and should not be ignored by the Government.

“Rather than delay this process any longer, the Government should now proceed to establish such an inquiry,” he said.

Sinn Féin justice spokesman Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the Dáil vote sent out a “significant statement” to the Government.

“A public inquiry was what the O’Farrell family sought,” said the Cork South Central TD.

“It is testament to the hard work of Shane’s mother Lucia who has been relentless in forcing this issue in the fight for justice for her deceased son.

“It is important, given that the family have been failed by so many arms of the State and given the inadequacy of the Gsoc report, that the family get answers, and that this takes place in public.

“I hope the Government will not delay this. The Dáil has now spoken, and we will keep the pressure on to ensure that the family receive the answers they deserve,” said Mr Ó Laoghaire.

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