This week, I started work on my Northsider Vol 27 No 1 and hope to have it with constituents towards the end of March. On Tuesday morning, I attended the Board meeting of the Coolock Development Council, of which I am a founding member. On Tuesday afternoon, I questioned the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, about the possible indexing of social protection payments. I also raised ongoing concerns about JobPath with Minister Doherty.
We all watched Shane O’Farrell’s mother, Lucia, speak with great sadness and eloquence on “Prime Time” last week and make an unanswerable case for a full public inquiry. Both Houses of the Oireachtas have voted for that and overwhelmingly want it. This young man would still be alive had the criminal justice system and certain gardaí done their jobs properly. That is the crux of the matter. Zigmantas Gridzuiska was driving the car that killed Shane on 2 August 2011. Just one hour before he killed him, driving a car that had no NCT and no valid insurance, he was stopped by gardaí and had been allowed to continue driving. We know that he breached bail 18 times, had 42 previous convictions and a history of heroin abuse.
I welcome the brief opportunity to contribute on this critical matter. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Shane O’Farrell’s family who are reliving the horrible night of his tragic death and are still waiting for justice almost seven years later. Twenty-three year old Shane was cycling along the N2 between Castleblaney and Carrickmacross on 2 August 2011 when he was killed in a hit-and-run by a man who clearly should not have been on Irish roads. Zigimantas Gridzuiska, the 39 year old Lithuanian driver, had 42 previous convictions, breached bail 18 times and been convicted of theft in Newry just three weeks before he killed Shane. I believe the Garda Síochána was informed of these matters. He should not have been on our roads on 2 August and, tragically, Shane should still be with us.