221. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on correspondence regarding the death of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35742/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I have previously met with family members of the victim to whom the Deputy refers and their legal representatives at the time to hear their concerns about aspects of the Garda investigation of the murder of their loved one and their call for an inquiry. This case was one of those inquired into previously by the late Mr. Justice Henry Barron and examined subsequently by a sub-committee of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights.
I have great sympathy for the family in this case. There can be no doubt that the brutal murder of their loved one by a gunman caused them untold grief and that there were unacceptable failings in the investigation of the murder.
I had a review of the material which the family provided to me and other available material regarding this murder carried out and I wrote to the family earlier this year setting out my conclusion that I could not recommend the establishment of a Commission of Investigation in this case and detailing my reasoning in this regard. In summary, in the circumstances where an independent judicial inquiry had already been carried out which focused in great detail on the Garda investigation and found that it could not advance the issues to a conclusive outcome; where an Oireachtas committee had carried out an examination of these same issues, including public hearings, and found also that it could not conclusively address questions relating to the investigation; and where a public apology for identified failings in the investigation was made to the family by former Garda Commissioners and a former Justice Minister, I could not conclude that the issues relating to the Garda investigation could be addressed any more conclusively now than they have been already.
I would note in addition that An Garda Síochána carried out a full review of the original investigation and the original evidence and submitted a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions who directed that no prosecution should be brought.
I regret that my decision in this case is, inevitably, a disappointment for the family. The family has written to me again and asked me to reconsider matters and I am currently in the process of finalising that consideration. I will, of course, communicate directly with the family when that process is completed. Questions Nos. 222 and 223 answered with Question No. 182.