Thursday, October 30, 2014

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No Satisfactory Investigation

Ben Gilroy with a press statement from Direct Democracy Ireland regarding the circumstances surrounding the 1981 RTA death of Patrick O'Rourke.

Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) have been approached by Ms. Geraldine O'Rourke seeking assistance in bringing to public notice her family's serious concerns surrounding the investigation into the tragic death of her brother.

Patrick O'Rourke, then 19, died from his injuries on October 5th 1981 in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda following a car crash involving an off duty Garda, now a sitting Fine Gael Councillor, Richie Cullhan. The family say that no satisfactory investigation was ever carried out into the incident and the Garda in question (now retired) was simply moved from Drogheda to Balbriggan.

Although Ms O'Rourke was assured by the Taoiseach's office on 12th August this year that the matter had been referred to the Minister for Justice & Equality, and would be dealt with by the Attorney general's independent panel of legal council investigating Garda misconduct, she has not had any further contact from those offices, nor do the family expect any positive or just outcome.

The O'Rourke family, have made enquiries of their own using the Freedom of Information Act requesting all records of the case from Gardai, The Coroner's Office, and the hospital in Drogheda. Much to their, and our, alarm they received a response from Superintendent Smith at Drogheda Garda Station on 20th October stating they could not find any records of the investigation.
This raised their suspicions but their concerns were heightened after receiving responses from both the Coroner's Office and the hospital also stating that no records could be found.

One agency losing records of an incident is possible and understandable, but all three losing the records of the same incident looks extremely questionable. The O'Rourke family, have been seeking justice for Patrick for 33 years and it appears from these revelations that persons unknown within the justice system are doing everything possible to prevent that.

On behalf of the O'Rourke family DDI spokesman Ben Gilroy and DDI Secretary Anthony Connor are calling on the Minister for Justice and Equality to make a statement on this matter in the Dáil.

Minister Fitzgerald must reassure the public that "equality" in the application of law is the bedrock of our justice system, and that no body or agency operates outside that maxim; because if this is not the case and there is a protected class in this country, then people will very quickly lose all respect for and trust in the justice system.