Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (247)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

247. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will establish the two outstanding commissions of investigation which were recommended by the final report on the independent commission of inquiry into the murder of a person (details supplied) by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights in March 2006; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48964/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The murder of Seamus Ludlow was a callous and senseless act of random violence perpetrated against an innocent man. I have the utmost sympathy for the Ludlow family who feel the pain of his loss every day. It is a matter of profound regret that, in common with so many troubles related deaths, nobody has yet been brought to justice for his murder.

The Barron Commission of Inquiry carried out an extensive investigation into the circumstances of the Seamus Ludlow case and Judge Barron submitted his report to the then Taoiseach in 2004. The report was referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights, a sub-committee of which held a series of public hearings and issued a report in March 2006.

That there were serious failures in the original Garda investigation is beyond question. In the course of the sub-committee hearings, the then former Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne, the then Commissioner, Noel Conroy, and the then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell, apologised to the Ludlow family for the way in which they had been treated by the Gardaí at the time.

There have been four separate Garda investigations: the initial (and flawed investigation); in1979/1980; in 1996/1999; and following the Barron Report. The Garda investigation is not closed and if further evidence comes to light that might permit a prosecution then expect that the matter would be re-considered by the DPP.

A second Coroner’s inquest into Mr Ludlow’s death was directed by the Attorney General, in September 2005 which returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

Neither I, nor my predecessors have been of the view that this case meets the statutory threshold for the establishment of a Commission of Investigation. There are litigation proceedings underway in relation to this which are due to be heard before the Court of Appeal at a future date. As this matter is before the Courts, I cannot add anything further.

I again extend my deepest sympathies to the Ludlow family.