O'Donoghue to propose Abbeylara tribunal


A tribunal of inquiry is likely to be set up after the Supreme Court this morning ruled the Oireachtas inquiry into the Abbeylara incident could not proceed.

 Cardinal Desmond Connell
Mr John O'Donoghue

The Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights began an inquiry into the shooting dead in April 2000 of Mr John Carthy last year but it was halted shortly after it began when Garda lawyers claimed it had no power to conduct an investigation that could affect the reputation of non-elected individuals.

It has also been argued by lawyers for the gardaí that the inquiry could endanger the lives the 36 gardaí if they had to testify in public.

Reacting to the ruling today Minister O'Donoghue said he had been "careful not to rule out a public inquiry (under the Tribunal of Inquiries Acts), arguing instead that a decision on such an inquiry before hearing the views of the sub-committee on the report of the Garda Commissioner would be premature".

Mr Carthy (27) was shot dead by gardaí following a two-day-long siege at his house near Abbeylara, Co Longford. He was carrying a double-barrelled shotgun when he walked out of the house and past armed gardaí crouched behind the garden wall towards unarmed officers further up the road.