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Question

341. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the review of the death of a person (details supplied) by the independent review mechanism; and when the family may expect to be informed as to the outcome of the review. [40673/15]

342. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the original Garda Síochána file on the investigation of the death of a person (details supplied) still exists, or if it has been archived; and if the file will be released to the family of the deceased. [40674/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 341 and 342 together.
The particular case to which the Deputy refers is amongst those considered under the mechanism established for the independent review of certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, which have been made to me as Minister for Justice and Equality, or the Taoiseach, or other public representatives with a view to determining to what extent and in what manner further action may be required in each case.
The Panel established for that purpose has provided recommendations to me in all 320 cases submitted to them and has therefore largely concluded its work. I am mindful that all complainants are anxious to know the outcome of the review of their case and every effort is being made to conclude the process. In each case a submission will be prepared. Mr Justice Roderick Murphy will review the summary of the conclusion and the letter of notification drafted, to ensure that they are a fair and accurate reflection of the recommendation.
The issuing of notification letters to complainants commenced on 29 June. To date, 281 complainants have been notified of the outcome of the review of their cases. Letters will continue to issue to all complainants, including the case referred to by the Deputy, until the process is completed.
I have previously assured Deputies that where further investigation is recommended by the review then that will occur. It is my intention, on the completion of the process, to make a comprehensive statement on all the actions I have decided to take in line with the recommendations of counsel.
As regard the original investigation file, I have no role in the investigation, prosecution or trial of alleged offences. This is a long standing principle of our system of justice. The role of An Garda Síochána is to investigate alleged offences, to gather whatever evidence may be available and to submit a report to the DPP. Accordingly, the preparation and retention of an investigation file in the context of a criminal investigation is an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner.