I propose to take Questions Nos. 269, 279 and 280 together.
The Deputy will recall that last June the Dáil passed a motion calling for a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the fatal road incident in which a young man, Shane O'Farrell, tragically lost his life.
Since the passing of the Dáil motion I have been considering how best to give effect to the wishes of the House. I have consulted with the Attorney General. As I have previously emphasised, this Government has long been committed to considering what further steps could be taken with regard to this case once the ongoing investigations into the matter by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission were completed.
I have now been informed by GSOC that their disciplinary investigation is complete and that they have provided a copy of the report to the Garda Commissioner for follow up and written to the O’Farrell family with regard to their findings. I met with the O'Farrell family today to outline how I intend to take the matter forward. A District Court Judge, Gerard Haughton, is being appointed to conduct a scoping exercise into the circumstances leading to Shane O'Farrell's tragic death.
I also took the opportunity to once again express my sincere condolences to Mrs. O'Farrell and her family for their tragic loss and I have assured them that Judge Haughton will meet with them in early course and that he is entirely free to recommend any course of action to me which he considers appropriate.
The judge has been asked to submit an interim report within 8 weeks, as part of which he will indicate the expected timeframe for completion of the scoping exercise. The terms of reference will be published on my Department’s website today.