Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (295, 296)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

295. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the scoping inquiry into the death of a person (details supplied); when a full inquiry will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8282/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

296. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of actions taken since a Dáil Éireann motion was passed on the death of a person (details supplied) in June 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8283/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 and 296 together.

As the Deputy is aware, I recently announced that I was commissioning a scoping exercise into the circumstances surrounding the fatal road traffic incident in August 2011 in which a young man lost his life so tragically.

Since the Dáil passed a motion last summer I have been considering how best to give effect to that motion while at the same time respecting the fact that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, was still investigating certain matters arising from the same incident. In this regard I had sought the advice of the Attorney General.

At the end of January, I was notified by GSOC that their investigation has been concluded and the report and recommendations had been sent to the Garda Commissioner. The O’Farrell family received a similar notification. Following this notification, and having informed the Government of the approach I had decided to take, I appointed District Court Judge Gerard Haughton to conduct a scoping exercise and to advise me in relation to the case. Judge Haughton retired from the District Court earlier this month.

I met with members of the family of the young man referred to in the Deputy's question to inform them of the decision. I subsequently provided them with a copy of the terms of reference and invited them to give their views on those terms of reference to Judge Haughton. The terms of reference, which I have published on my Department's website, require Judge Haughton to provide me with an interim report within 8 weeks of the commencement of the scoping exercise.

I also asked Judge Haughton to contact the family at the earliest opportunity and I understand he has done that.

I am now awaiting a report from Judge Haughton following his engagement with the family and when I receive that I will be in a position to finalise the terms of reference for the scoping exercise.

I want to thank Judge Haughton for undertaking this exercise.