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Matt Carthy MEP supports calls for Independent Public Inquiry into death of Shane O’Farrell

30 May, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has again reiterated his support for the call for a full independent public enquiry into the handling by Gardaí, the prosecution services and the courts of the events leading up to and following the death of Shane O’Farrell from Carrickmacross in 2011.

His call comes in the wake of this week’s RTÉ Prime Time programme where Shane’s mother Lucia outlined her lack of faith in GSOC to find the truth behind the failures that led to her son’s death.  Shane O'Farrell was killed almost seven years ago in a hit-and-run near Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. Carthy has been severely critical of the handling of the case and the treatment of the O’Farrell family by the state.

Matt Carthy said:

“Lucia O’Farrell is the bravest woman one could meet.  Her determination in her quest for justice for her beloved son, Shane, is phenomenal.  It is simply unfair that she has been forced to bare her soul on the national airways in order to demand that she and her family learn the truth behind the failures that led to Shane’s death.  The government must now open a full independent public enquiry into the handling by Gardaí and the entire justice system of the events leading up to and following the tragic event of August 2011.

“Shane was cycling home when he was struck by a car driven by a person who had previous convictions for offences including aggravated burglary, road traffic offences and handling stolen property.  That driver should have been in prison at that time.

“Two weeks before the collision, this person was arrested in Newry for three counts of theft.

“The day this man struck Shane with his car, he was on bail from courts in both Monaghan and Cavan and on a peace bond from Louth Circuit Court.

“On the day that Shane was killed, the car which struck him had been stopped by the Garda drugs unit was deemed not roadworthy and had no NCT. The accused, who was in the passenger side when the car was stopped, assumed the driver’s role in the presence of the Gardai despite not being insured.

“At Shane’s Inquest, the court was told that Gardai at the scene felt that the occupants of the car were in possession of a controlled substance but the car was not searched. Within an hour Shane was killed.

“For over six years now, Shane’s family has been asking how a repeat offender on bail from multiple courts, was at liberty on the day Shane was killed. They also want to know why he did not serve jail time for killing their son, and was instead given the option of leaving the country.

“The O’Farrell family have been treated disgracefully by the state. They deserve better than this. All citizens do. The first duty of the state is to protect its citizens. In this case it clearly failed to.

“Shane’s family have made a complaint to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) over five years ago.  They recently received a report from GSOC that does holds nobody to account.  It doesn’t even name a single Garda.

“The O’Farrell family clearly have no faith that GSOC will provide them with the answers they need or the justice Shane deserves.  Neither do I. 

“The time has come now for a full independent public enquiry into this case.  The government should establish one immediately".

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