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27/10/2021

Oireachtas inquiry would not have been enough for John Carthy

The sister of John Carthy, the man who was shot dead by gardai at Abbeylara over a decade ago, has claimed an Oireachtas inquiry would never have been satisfactory enough to investigate her brother’s death.

The sister of John Carthy, the man who was shot dead by gardai at Abbeylara over a decade ago, has claimed an Oireachtas inquiry would never have been satisfactory enough to investigate her brother’s death.

Giving her thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s (Thursday) referendum, which aims to provide full powers to Oireachtas committees on matters considered to be of public importance, Marie Carthy said she and her family were disappointed when an Oireachtas committee was set up after Mr Carthy’s death in April 2000.

Keen to steer clear of commenting on the referendum, Ms Carthy said: “We knew it would take a full public inquiry, and that’s what we were calling for all the time.”

Mr Carthy, who was 27 at the time, was shot dead by the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) on April 20, 2000, after he emerged from his family home in Abbeylara, Co Longford following a 25-hour siege.

A judicial inquiry chaired by Mr Justice Robert Barr published a damning report in 2006, criticising the garda operation. Scene commanders it ruled had “little training” and “no practical experience” of an armed siege situation.

Should the referendum receive the backing of voters on Thursday, it will effectively reverse the Supreme Court Abbeylara judgement, which brought an end to an Oireachtas inquiry into the shooting of Mr Carthy over 11 years ago. The court, at the time, ruled that no Oireachtas inquiry could be pursued if the good name of any citizen was likely to come under scrutiny.

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