Government announces scoping inquiry into death of cyclist Shane O'Farrell

The Government is establishing a scoping inquiry to look at changes to the law after the death of Shane O'Farrell in Monaghan in 2011.

Government announces scoping inquiry into death of cyclist Shane O'Farrell

The Government is establishing a scoping inquiry to look at changes to the law after the death of Shane O'Farrell in Monaghan in 2011.

The inquiry will be headed by Judge Gerard Haughton and will be able to recommend further investigations up to a full tribunal of inquiry.

23-year-old Shane was out cycling near Carrickmacross in August 2011 when he was knocked down and killed.

It later emerged that the driver - Lithuanian national Zigimantas Gridziuska - was on bail for a number of offences.

A GSOC report into the case has found that no gardaí had committed a criminal offence in relation to their handling the case.

However, his mother has long called for a public inquiry into how gardaí handled it - with his mother saying her son "deserves people to be held to account for their failure to him".

This afternoon, it was confirmed that Judge Gerard Haughton will lead a scoping inquiry that will examine whether there needs to be any more changes to the law or any further investigation.

It will also be able to recommend any further investigation, up to a full tribunal.

The report is due to be delivered in around eight weeks.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan met with Shane's mother Lucia today.

However, speaking after the meeting, the O'Farrell family said they were not consulted on the new scoping inquiry.

Shane O'Farrell's family.
Shane O'Farrell's family.

They said in a statement: "The Minister wanted to inform the family that he has ordered a scoping exercise to be carried out, which will be chaired by Mr Justice Haughton of the District Court.

"In the family's view, a scoping exercise falls far short of recognising the Dail's 2 to 1 vote in favour of a public inquiry which was passed in June 2018.

"There was no consultation with the family, nor has the family had the opportunity to consider or comment on the terms of reference. They are considering their next steps in the circumstances."

Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan said: “A number of months ago I introduced a motion in Dáil Éireann to call for a Commission of Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Shane O’Farrell.

“I, therefore, welcome this evening’s announcement and acknowledge the fact that it represents slight progress in determining the events surrounding Shane’s tragic death.

“As I have previously stated, the GSOC report failed to uncover thorough or factual answers to very vital questions relating to Shane’s death. The O’Farrell family has been unrelenting in their pursuit of justice for their only son and brother. They and the public deserve the truth.

“I very much hope that this scoping inquiry indicates that the Government respects the vote of the Oireachtas which supported the establishment of a full inquiry.”

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