17.10.22 Patrick Costello

17 10 23 Patrick Costello

Uploaded by Lucia O’Farrell on 2023-10-19.

I welcome, as others have, the O’Farrell family to the House. I have had the pleasure of meeting Lucia on a number of occasions. I have to admire the relentlessness, steadfastness and energy she brings to the cause of justice for her son. The O’Farrells are a very impressive family who could teach all of us in here a few things. My local Green Party colleague and representative, Tate Donnelly, introduced me to Lucia. I thank him for that introduction and for the work he has done to support the family. As I said, meeting Lucia and such a brave, strong family has been a wonderful experience.
As I only have a short time, I will not go into the details of the report, which has been explored by many of my colleagues. It is very long but let us not confuse the length of the report with completeness. Quite simply, we have terms of reference that do not seem to have been followed. We have questions that should have been asked that never were asked. We have reports, such as GSOC report the Minister mentioned, that should have been explored and about which there were questions, yet the GSOC report was never even sought by the judge. Time was spent exploring questions that were not asked. There are questions, thanks to the forensic research of the family, about the independence of the whole process as well. There are legal questions as to whether a scoping exercise can, in the light of jurisprudence, make such bold claims and final determinations. It would seem that under Irish judgments, it cannot. We have a report that does not seem to follow its own term of reference and does not answer the questions it is meant to answer but answers a load of random questions and then does not seem to comply with Irish law.
As I said, let us not confuse the length of this report with completeness. It seem this report is deeply incomplete and deeply flawed and, as many Deputies have argued, should not be considered the last word on this matter and should not even be considered much further. What we need is what this House and the Upper House recommended, namely, a full public inquiry. Only then can we truly explore these issues in a full public arena with the ability to cross-examine, dig in and demand real answers to the questions that were meant to be asked. Only then can we actually get truth for Shane and his family.