” I am aware of all the allegations and I am aware of all the concerns. I have been for some time, which is why in 2011 I requested this matter be investigated.”
This is part of a reply given by Minister Alan Shatter to questions in the Dáil on the 30th. April 2013.
The Investigation/Examinination was already under way when Alan Shatter was elected. It was set up three months before Alan Shatter became Minister
Commissioner Fáchtna Murphy started the investigation into Niall’s case when Dermot Ahern was Minister for Justice in 2010
Dáil Debate 17 /11 /2010
Dermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 40 together.
The incident to which the Deputies refer was the subject of investigation by the Garda SÃochÃ¡na, which resulted in the submission of an investigation file to the law officers, who directed that a person be charged with manslaughter and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. At the subsequent trial, directions to acquit were given by the judge.
Following representations which I recently received, I requested a report on the matter from the Garda authorities. I am informed by the Garda authorities that, following the publication of the article referred to by Deputy Shatter, representations were also made to the Garda Commissioner requesting an investigation of the matters raised in it. The Commissioner arranged for a detective superintendent to meet the persons making the representations, particularly in the context of an assessment of whether there is new information or evidence available which could be pursued. I expect to receive a further report from the Commissioner when that assessment is completed.
The Criminal Procedure Act 2010 introduced a significant change to our laws governing the status of acquittals, by providing that an acquittal can now be set aside and the person re-tried where new and compelling evidence emerges. Previously, an acquitted person was entitled to an irrebuttable presumption of innocence. However, the Actâ€™s provisions do not apply to historical cases – they apply only to persons tried and acquitted on or after the date on which the provisions were commenced, that is, 1 September this year. This absence of retrospective effect stems from our constitutional framework.
“Last December, former garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy ordered a new examination of the case following dramatic new evidence given to him by the Irish Independent.”
Irish Independent 21/11/2011
Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, head of the cold case unit, has been appointed by Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to examine fresh details contained in a recent Irish Independent investigation.
Irish independent 22/11/2010