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Question

148. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied with the terms of reference in relation to the statutory inquiries into four deaths, following the IRM process; and his plans to amend those terms in view of concerns by some persons and the lack of clarity regarding whether recommendations will be referred to him for consideration and action following their conclusion. [7881/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy refers to cases which were the subject of review by the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM). In each of the four cases referred to by the Deputy, counsel of the IRM recommended that an inquiry be established to examine issues raised.
As was outlined to the Deputy in response to Question 83 of 12 July 2017, Orders establishing these inquiries under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 were signed by my predecessor on 15 May 2017. In each case, the Order sets out the issue to be inquired into, its terms of reference and the name of the person appointed to conduct it.
The terms of reference are in line with the recommendations of IRM counsel and are in accordance with provisions of the above-mentioned Section 42. They were also the subject of consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and the Policing Authority. I am satisfied that these terms of reference are both appropriate and sufficient to allow the judges to conduct these inquiries thoroughly.
The Orders also prescribe that a report is to be made to me at the conclusion of each Inquiry. At the time of establishment of these inquiries, a timeframe of six months was set out for the submission of final reports to me. In interim reports provided to me by the judges, it was made clear that completion within that six month timeframe has not been possible. I have therefore granted appropriate extensions of time for each inquiry. I will review the contents of each report once it is to hand and consider whether any further action is warranted.