Families to brief UK MPs on justice ‘failures’ in Republic

Relatives of killed or missing going to Westminster to voice frustration at inaction

A group campaigning for the truth about unsolved killings and other crimes is going to Westminster to raise concerns about the Garda and Department of Justice with British MPs.

The Families for Justice delegation is going to London tomorrow for a visit facilitated by Democratic Unionist Party MP Jeffrey Donaldson.

Speaking on behalf of the families, Lucia O'Farrell – whose son Shane (23) was killed in 2011 in a hit-and-run by a driver who should have been in prison – said the authorities in Ireland had "failed" them.

The families believe Garda inquiries into their cases were not conducted properly and that their right to justice has been breached.Ms Farrell said the Department of Justice had “utterly failed families like us who are trying to address injustice.We feel like we are living in a dictatorship where our basic human rights are being trampled upon.”


“It is a damning indictment of the criminal justice system in Ireland that mothers like me, who have lost their children, have to leave our own country to try to get justice.”


Many cases Families for Justice are campaigning on have been under investigation by a panel of barristers appointed by the department in the wake of allegations of corruption and failure of duty made by whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Also travelling to London is Anne Doherty, twin sister of Mary Boyle who disappeared and was presumed murdered in Co Donegal in 1977 when she was six.

The parents of the late Clodagh Cullen (4) are going to London to discuss her death in what they believe is an unexplained road collision in Kilkenny in 2007.

A Garda Headquarters statement said the force did “not comment on remarks by third parties”.

"A panel of legal professionals has reviewed a number of allegations of Garda misconduct and anyone with a complaint about a member or members of An Garda Síochána can bring it to the attention of GSoc," it said. The Department of Justice did not respond to questions from The Irish Times.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times