Deputy Matt Carthy to Taoiseach Micheál Martin
The scoping exercise into the death of Shane O’Farrell was established by the previous Government more than three years ago. By their nature, scoping exercises are expected to take weeks, possibly months but not years, and yet three years on from the initiation of that exercise we have no idea as to when that work will be finished. Members will recall that nobody bar the previous Cabinet wanted this scoping exercise. Both Houses of the Oireachtas unanimously passed motions calling for the establishment of an inquiry. In 2018, the Taoiseach, when on this side of the House, stated: “In all honesty and sincerity, it is time the Oireachtas responded in the only way possible to Shane’s death, which is the establishment of an inquiry.” The Taoiseach was right then and his case is even more valid now.
The failures of the policing and justice system that led up to Shane’s death and the actions thereafter and to this day are significant not only to his family, but are in the wider public interest. We acknowledge the independence of Judge Haughton who is carrying out the scoping exercise and we know that Government cannot interfere, but will the Taoiseach accept that the scoping exercise as a process has not worked and that it has become yet another protracted delay to advancing the inquiry that we have all agreed is necessary?
The Taoiseach took a very firm stance on this matter when in opposition, and rightly so. I ask that he follow it through.