• SEQUEL TO FATAL HIT-AND-RUN … CARRICK FAMILY’S PLEA GETS RESPONSE FROM TAOISEACH

10 November 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

THE parents and family of the 23-years-old Carrickmacross law student Shane O’Farrell who was killed by a hit and run driver while cycling near his home five years ago were received by an Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.,, whom they met along with An Tanaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. in Dublin last Friday in an effort to get some positive action by the State to help bring closure to the horrific circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

Shane O’Farrell, son of Jim and Lucia O’Farrell, was fatally injured in the hit-and-run incident just outside Carrickmacross, on August 2, 2011.

It subsequently emerged the driver, whose vehicle was involved, was a 39-years old Lithuanian national Zigimantas Gridzuiska, who had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time.

Although he failed to report the accident, or tend the critically injured cyclist, and left his damaged vehicle at a friend’s house before going home to bed, he was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving causing death, but he was later acquitted, and given the choice of eight months in prison, or leave the country, within 21 days—the latter option which he took.

Since then, the grieving family of the deceased have pursued the issue at all levels and have sought an in-depth inquiry by the Garda Ombudsman Service into the investigation following the young man’s death. They have also sought to highlight the failure of the State in relation to the law-student’s death and have already brought the issue to the European Parliament with the help of local Sinn Frein MEP Matt Carthy. It was also through Mr. Carthy’s efforts, and the situation being raised in the Dail by Louth Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams, that the Taoiseach agreed to meet the family last Friday.

TAOISEACH’S STATEMENT
Following the meeting the Taoiseach issued the following brief media statement on Friday last in relation to his discussions with the O’Farrell delegation:
“Together with the Tánaiste, I met today with the O’Farrell family about the loss of their son and brother, Shane.

“We received a powerful presentation from the family detailing the work done by the family themselves.

“It points out a series of issues that would warrant further consideration. I am not ruling out a public inquiry, but I would first like to receive the report of the GSOC investigation into aspects of this case, which I understand it to be at an advanced stage under the chairmanship of Justice Ring.

”I informed the O’Farrell family today that I am asking the Attorney General to request the Law Reform Commission President Mr Justice John Quirke to examine how we can reform the law to provide enhanced public understanding for significant decisions made whilst fully preserving the independence of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An Taoiseach added that the law had been reformed in some other countries to deal with similar situations as had emerged in the O’Farrell case.
hit-run

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