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Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2020

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (906)

Bríd Smith

Question:

906. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will commission an independent inquiry as supported by the Thirty-second Dáil into the circumstances surrounding the death of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14775/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, a retired judge, Gerard Haughton, is conducting a scoping exercise into the tragic death of the person in question, whose case has been discussed in Dáil Éireann on a number of occasions. The judge furnished an interim report to my predecessor on 13 November last. Following consultation with the family concerned, Judge Haughton and the Attorney General, the interim report was published on 17 December 2019.

In his interim report, Judge Haughton states that he will not restrict or limit the family in their submissions to him or the nature and extent of the documentation they wish to furnish to him in his scoping exercise.

I am glad to note that the family are working with Judge Haughton. My Department is in regular contact with the judge and has assured him of any assistance he requires to complete his final report.

I understand that Judge Haughton has recently informed my Department and the family of the reasons why he does not believe that he can finalise matters within the timescale referred to in his Interim Report and has indicated that it is likely to be late September before he will be in a position to conclude the scoping exercise.

It is of course open to the judge to make any recommendation he sees fit in his final report, including the establishment of any form of statutory or non-statutory inquiry. I will await the recommendation of Judge Haughton in his final report before making any decision in relation to further inquiries into this matter.

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