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Family of student killed in hit-and-run say meeting with Taoiseach was "step towards justice"

The O’Farrell family believe there were serious failings in the garda investigation, and have submitted 59 complaints to GSOC in relation to this case.

Lucia O'Farrell is to meet An Taoiseach today more than four years after her son's death.
Lucia O'Farrell is to meet An Taoiseach today more than four years after her son's death.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 6.50pm 

THE FAMILY OF a student killed in a hit-and-run incident have said they had a “positive meeting” with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in their bid for justice.

Shane O’Farrell was killed in a hit-and-run incident outside Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan in August 2011.

His family believe there were serious failings in the garda investigation, and have submitted 59 complaints to GSOC in relation to this case.

The case has been with GSOC for four and a half years, but the report is still pending.

At a meeting with the Taoiseach this morning, Lucia O’Farrell, Jim O’Farrell and their four daughters presented Kenny with a number of documents relating to the case.

In a statement this evening, they said that the Taoiseach agreed to review the documents:

He stated that he is going to review the documents which the family furnished and await the GSOC report. Following a review of which the Taoiseach may consider a public inquiry to address those issues arising from other state bodies which GSOC cannot deal with.  The family believe this is a positive step towards justice for Shane.

Shane’s family have been campaigning for a Commission of Investigation to be established into Shane’s death and the prosecution of the man responsible.

In October of this year, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams raised the case with Enda Kenny in the Dáil and asked him to meet with the O’Farrell family.

Shane O’Farrell’s mother Lucia was in attendance for this Dáil exchange.

The incident

23-year-old law student Shane O’Farrell was cycling his bicycle near Carrickmacross when he was struck by a car driven by Lithuanian national Zigimantas Gridzuiska.

When speaking to the Dáil in October, Adams told the Dáil that the driver 42 previous convictions.

“The time he killed Shane he was on bail from Cavan Circuit Court, from Monaghan Circuit Court, from Dundalk Circuit Court and from Newry Court,” Adams said.

The Louth deputy added that Gridziuska had broken the conditions of his bail two weeks before the fatal incident after being arrested in Northern Ireland and that gardaí were made aware of this.

Adams said that on the day O’Farrell died, the car that struck him had earlier been stopped by the garda drugs unit and “had no NCT and was not roadworthy”.

“The accused, who was in the passenger side when the car was stopped, assumed the driver’s role in the presence of an garda despite not being insured,” Adams told the Taoiseach.

In the inquest into Shane’s death, the court heard that gardaí at the scene felt occupants of the car were in possession of a controlled substance but the car wasn’t searched. Within an hour, Shane was dead.

Gridziuska did not remain at the scene of the collision but was arrested later that day.

He was handed an eight-month suspended sentence for dangerous driving causing death in February 2013, on the basis that he leave the country within 21 days.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: ‘Preventable’ death of young student by hit-and-run driver was ‘due to multiple garda failings’

Read: “Hero” gardaí rescue child from sixth floor apartment as witness Senator calls for their pay to be hiked

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