'You murdered my son, how dare you. There is no justice'
The family of the 23-year-old Monaghan cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run incident in 2011 have said they are devastated the driver of the car was allowed to walk free from court yesterday.
Lucia O’Farrell, the mother of Shane O’Farrell, who died on August 2nd, 2011, said the legal system had failed them.
When Zigimantas Gridzuiska was acquitted of dangerous driving earlier this month she thought it was “the final insult”, but when he was allowed to walk free on the basis that he leave Ireland, “that was appalling”, she said.“I hope there is a hell.”
The family has made a series of complaints to the Garda Ombudsman in relation to the case. In court they appeared shocked when Judge Patrick McCartan suspended Gridzuiska’s eight-month sentence for offences related to the hit-and-run incident on the basis that he leaves the country.
The family held each other for comfort as the defendant gave an undertaking to leave Ireland within 21 days.
But after the judge left the bench an emotional Mrs O’Farrell approached Gridzuiska and shouted at him.
“You murdered my son, how dare you” she said. “There is no justice.”
Former Trinity College Dublin student Shane O’Farrell had handed in his final thesis days before he died, his sister Gemma O’Farrell said. He had intended becoming a barrister and his life was just about to begin.
She said he was training for a triathlon and had gone for a cycle on the night of his death as part of his training. When he did not return his mother phoned him, but got no answer.
The family went in search of him and spotted the flashing blue lights on the main road.
An only boy with four sisters, Shane was very close to his family. They described him as a talented musician who had “tricked his way” into playing with his band, the Bicycle Republic, in Whelan’s pub in Dublin.
He was also a rugby fan, had a great love of the English language and “saw beauty everywhere”, his mother said.
“If you could have a perfect son, he was all that,” she said.