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Lucia O'Farrell was in the Dáil gallery today more than four years after her son's death. Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Monaghan

'Preventable' death of young student by hit-and-run driver was 'due to multiple garda failings'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has agreed to meet the mother of the man.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has agreed to meet the mother of a Monaghan man who was killed in a case that has led to 59 complaints to GSOC.

In the Dáil today, Gerry Adams TD said that the death of the young was “preventable due to the multiple failings of An Garda Síochána.”

The case relates to the death of 23-year-old law student Shane O’Farrell who died while cycling his bicycle near Carrickmacross in August 2011. The young man’s mother Lucia was in the Dáil gallery today.

O’Farrell was struck by a car driven by Lithuanian national Zigimantas Gridzuiska.

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.

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Responding to the Sinn Féin leader, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said expressed his sadness at the death and said that he has read case files about the incident.

“I feel that I would like to meet Mrs. O’Farrell and hear her story myself,” Kenny said.

And I will do that from a humanitarian point of view. There are processes that are in place. Nothing will bring back Shane O’Farrell, who I understand was a brilliant young student.

Adams added that O’Farrell was a fluent Irish speaker and that at the time of his death he was preparing to begin a job with the European Commission.

Kenny made reference to the GSOC investigation into the case which he said was “practically complete”.

Adams pushed the Taoiseach on whether he would consider a statutory investigation into the case and Kenny said that he would.

The Taoiseach also noted that there were civil proceedings pending against the State in the case.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons. 

Read: Mother of hit-and-run victim: Driver ‘should not have been at liberty to kill’ >

Read: “I don’t know how we can cope without her” – Father pays tribute after daughter (16) dies in crash >

 

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