You are currently viewing 23.11.21 – Dáil Éireann – Questions – Commissions of Investigation – Martin Kenny

23.11.21 – Dáil Éireann – Questions – Commissions of Investigation – Martin Kenny

Dáil Éireann debate – Tuesday, 23 Nov 2021

I thank the Deputies for the questions. First, on equality budgeting and the general approach of Government under the social impact assessment framework, approximately 17 papers have been published since 2016 under the social impact assessment, SIA, framework, embracing education, childcare, energy, poverty, disability and health, including mental health.

Deputy Martin Kenny

On the back of Deputy Tóibín’s question, I wish to raise the issue of establishing a commission of investigation into the death of Shane O’Farrell. The scoping exercise into Shane’s death has not yet been completed. In the Dáil four years ago, the Taoiseach, who was then in opposition, said: “In all honesty and sincerity, it is time the Oireachtas responded in the only way possible, which is the establishment of an inquiry.” The Taoiseach was correct then and I hope he will follow through on that. The failures of the policing and justice system leading up to Shane’s death and the actions thereafter, including by the courts, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice, are significant, not just to the O’Farrell family but to the general public. This should also be of interest to the Taoiseach in his position as leader of Fianna Fáil because in 2018 the Fianna Fáil confidence and supply negotiating team raised Shane’s case with the Secretary General of the Department of Justice who, in turn, committed to providing a briefing note. It was recently reported by Ms Justine McCarthy in the Sunday Times that the departmental memo did not inform Fianna Fáil of significant information pertaining to the driver who killed Shane. So serious was this information that the Secretary General submitted to the Minister for Justice the terms of reference for a review to be undertaken by a senior counsel into Courts Service failings. The Department of Justice did not provide the information to Fianna Fáil and the review in question did not ultimately proceed. No explanation has been provided for this. It should not be up to the O’Farrell family to try to uncover these issues. The Taoiseach must deliver this inquiry.