444. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has met a family (details supplied) following the publishing of the GSOC report in regard to the way in which complaints were handled following the death of the family's son. [24669/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, the report published by Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) following the conclusion of their criminal investigations resulting from complaints lodged by the family in question, and referrals made by then Minister Alan Shatter, advised that they found no evidence of criminal behaviour by Garda members in relation to these incidents.
The Commission, however, have identified a select number of complaints which they believe warrant further investigation from a disciplinary perspective. Therefore, as the matter is still presently under active investigation it remains the position that any comments or interference by me, as Minister, would be wholly inappropriate.
However, I will state that I am satisfied that GSOC have taken ample care and consideration with regards to their investigations, dedicating immense time and resources to ensure that each complaint received is assessed in detail and to the highest investigative standards. Furthermore, GSOC’s independence must be respected and the Commission must be allowed to complete their important work, unimpeded. To do otherwise, would be to severely limit the operational capabilities of this essential organisation.
As I have stated previously, when the GSOC have completed all investigations relating to this tragic case the question as to whether there remain issues that require further investigation will be fully considered. It will then fall to be decided what further action, if any, should be taken.
My predecessor and the former Taoiseach have met with the family and gave a commitment, which I have repeated, that when all investigations are completed I will consider what further investigation is warranted. In that context, I believe that a meeting with the O'Farrell family at that stage, to hear from them at first hand their views on the outstanding issues, would be helpful.