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Families say gardaí didn't investigate violent deaths properly

The ‘Families for Justice’ group will be accompanied by journalist Gemma O’Doherty and Garda whistleblower John Wilson.

Image: Shutterstock/Paul Matthew Photography

A DELEGATION OF families is set to travel to the European Parliament in Brussels to express concerns about An Garda Siochana.

The Families for Justice group is made up of families who are all said to have “lost loved ones in violent circumstances”.

Their assertion is that An Garda Siochana did not investigate the deaths properly and that this meant that the families’ “fundamental right to justice has been breached”.

What do they hope to achieve? 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Lucia O’Farrell, part of the Families for Justice group said that the trip was intended to apply pressure domestically.

O’Farrell said that the families had “exhausted their avenues” within Ireland and have plans in the future to take their case to the United Nations.

“Families shouldn’t have to leave the country. Families shouldn’t have to go to Brussels… what’s going on is unbelievable. I never thought it would be like this,” she said.

Who is going to Brussels?

Lucia and Jim O’Farrell will be going to Europe over an incident in 2011 when their child was killed in hit and run in Co Monaghan. It was an incident where the driver of the car should not have been on the roads.

Other members of the group who are travelling include Anne Doherty, twin sister of Mary Boyle is believed to have been killed in Donegal in 1977 at the age of 6; Cyril Goonan, whose brother Jim was found dead in suspicious circumstances in Birr, Co Offaly in 2002; and the parents of four-year-old Clodagh Cullen, who was killed in what is described as “a mysterious car crash” in Kilkenny in 2007.

The families are accompanied on their journey by journalist Gemma O’Doherty and Garda whistleblower John Wilson. They will also be accompanied by Catherine Costelloe, a former officer with the London Metropolitan Police.

The trip has been facilitated by Sinn Féin MEPs.

The group travelled to Stormont last November and met with a delegation of Northern Irish MLAs, including Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Mike Nesbitt.

Read: Hillary Clinton wants all US police officers to wear body cameras

Also: TDs accused of using Dáil privilege to ‘sully the good name’ of gardaí

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