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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

Three gardaí facing possible disciplinary action over death of Shane O'Farrell

“The actions of the Gardaí fell short of what should have happened,” Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said today.

SOF. Shane O'Farrell Source: Lucia Farrell

THREE MEMBERS OF An Garda Síochána face disciplinary proceedings following an investigation by GSOC into the death of 23-year-old cyclist Shane O’Farrell in 2011. 

On the evening of 2 August, O’Farrell was cycling home when he was struck by a car driven by Zigimantas Gradzuiska near Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan.

Gradzuiska had previous convictions for offences including aggravated burglary, road traffic offences and the handling of stolen property.

The O’Farrell family has been asking how Gradzuiska, a repeat offender who was on bail from multiple courts, was at liberty on the day Shane was killed.

In a statement to the Seanad this afternoon, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said that, following the completion of GSOC’s criminal investigation into the case in which it found no grounds for criminal proceedings against any gardaí, “GSOC has recommended disciplinary action against three members of [An] Garda Síochána.”

“I understand that the Garda Commissioner is examining that report and I would note that under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 it is a matter entirely for the Garda Commissioner alone to decide on this matter,” Flanagan said. 

Flanagan added that there were “a number of failings in the period leading up to the road traffic incident in which Shane O’Farrell lost his young life.”

“Shane O’Farrell was obviously a much-loved son and brother and his death has clearly been devastating for his family to whom I once again extend my sincere condolences,” Flanagan said. 

Gradzuiska did not remain at the scene of the collision but was arrested later that day. He was handed an eight-month sentence for dangerous driving causing death in February 2013 but this was suspended on the basis that he would leave the country within 21 days.

Two weeks before the collision, he was arrested in Newry for three counts of theft. The day he struck O’Farrell, Gradzuiska was on bail from courts in both Monaghan and Cavan and on a peace bond from Louth Circuit Court.

“Tragically, the actions of the Gardaí fell short of what should have happened where a person on bail or remand and is subsequently arrested for other offences,” Flanagan told the Seanad today. “And that is what GSOC has been investigating in the period since then.”

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