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Question

113. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice the status of the Haughton scoping exercise regarding the circumstances of the killing of a person (details supplied) in view of her commitment to publish the report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27644/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. I wish to start by offering my deepest sympathies to the parents and family of the late Shane O'Farrell. Shane's death was a terrible tragedy and a huge loss for his family and community.
As the Deputy will be aware, a highly respected retired judge, Mr. Gerard Haughton, has been conducting a scoping exercise into the tragic circumstances surrounding Shane O'Farrell's death. The purpose of this exercise is to advise on whether any further investigation or inquiry beyond those already carried out is necessary and, if so, to advise on the form of such investigation or inquiry and its terms of reference.
Mr. Haughton furnished an interim report to the then Minister for Justice and Equality in November 2019. In his interim report, he stated that he would not restrict or limit Shane's family in their submissions to him or the nature and extent of the documentation they wished to furnish to him in his scoping exercise. I am awaiting the final report, which my Department expects to receive from Mr. Haughton shortly.
Mr. Haughton is completely independent in his work and I can neither intervene in nor seek to influence the outcome of the scoping exercise. My Department continues to provide all necessary assistance to him to enable him to complete his work. The previous extensions to the timescale requested by him have, as he has stated to the family, been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and his desire to be as comprehensive as possible in conducting the scoping exercise. While I genuinely regret that this process has taken significantly longer than any of us would like, I am also aware that Mr. Haughton is doing all that he can to ensure that the concerns that the family have raised with him during the process are followed through to the greatest extent possible. I understand that he has been in contact with the O'Farrell family throughout this scoping exercise.