Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Oireachtas Committee hears why Stardust Inquest must have independently-selected Jury - Senator Lynn Boylan

31 May, 2022 - by Lynn Boylan

Senator Lynn Boylan has today welcomed Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) comments at the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice Hearing on the operation of the Coroner Service.

Speaking after the meeting, Senator Boylan said:

“I welcome the ICCL’s call for a full-time coronial service with fully trained, qualified coroners and support staff organised on a regional basis. 

“In addition, the ICCL’s call for the appointment of a Chief Coroner with responsibility for the management and operation of the service with an Inspectorate put in place and a Code of Practice developed is a very positive suggestion, which I fully support.

“However, I particularly welcome the ICCL’s call for the urgent need to address Jury Selection before the Stardust Inquest begins. 

“I also welcome their call for public representatives to support my current Private Members Bill “Coroners (Provision for Jury Selection) (Amendment) Bill 2022” which addresses these important issues.

“The reopened Stardust inquest has highlighted how our current system concerning the selection of Coroner juries is out of date. In contested inquests, it is important that there is a right to a jury and that that jury be selected in an independent manner. 

“My Bill, if passed, will allow a jury for the Stardust inquest to be selected in the same manner as a court case. Under the current system, the Gardaí select the jurors.

“It was heartening to hear other expert witnesses at the committee echo the need for a right to a jury at inquests and for that jury to be selected independently. It is not just important that justice is done but that justice is seen to be done.

“I am asking the elected representatives to listen to what they heard at today’s Committee meeting and to call on Minister Helen McEntee to fulfil the promise she made to the Stardust families in February that she would immediately proceed on progressing legislation concerning jury selection and income protection as a matter of urgency. 

“There can be no more delays to the Inquest.”

Connect with Sinn Féin