The family of a man who went missing after a night out more than 14 years ago have given a cautious welcome to the announcement that an independent inquiry is to be set up into allegations of garda misconduct in the investigation of his death.
Shane Tuohey, a 23-year-old turf cutter, went missing on February 2, 2002, after a night out in Clara, Co Offaly. His body was found in the River Brosna a week later. A coroner’s inquest recorded that the death was by drowning and gardaí suspected he had taken his own life.
The Touhey family allege gardaí failed to investigate the manner of his death properly and harassed and intimidated Shane’s father, Eamonn Tuohey.
Speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday, Mr Tuohey said the family want the truth and will not accept a “half-standard inquiry”.
Mr Tuohey said the family “are not sure what to expect from these people or if we can trust them after being let down so many times”.
A 2006 investigation of garda handling of the case concluded that aspects of it “might have been more professionally handled” but supported the original finding of a probable suicide.
The Tuohey family have found evidence that gardaí were informed of a possible assault on Shane on the night of his disappearance but witnesses were not interviewed until several months later. Last year, the case was referred to the Government’s Independent Review Mechanism and the Department of Justice confirmed yesterday that a full inquiry will be launched.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved