Barrons sue State after nine years of suffering

The family of Richard Barron have begun legal action against the State:

Along with their High Court proceedings, the Barrons are demanding an apology from Justice Minister Michael McDowell and Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy for the way Mr Barron’s death was handled and his family’s treatment in the years that followed.

They also want a definitive ruling on the cause of Mr Barron’s death and say they are prepared to call for another inquest and assemble a fresh set of forensics experts if it will help them get to the truth.

The first protracted inquest into Mr Barron’s death two years ago reached an open verdict after finding the evidence inconclusive as to whether he was the victim of a hit-and-run, assault or murder but the second Morris Report, published earlier this month, concludes there was no murder and that a hit-and-run accident was to blame.

11 months after the first Morris Tribunal report, the Dail are finally discussing its implications. And still:

…opposition politicians claimed the Government was merely going through the motions as deputies would be confined to reading statements and no debate would be allowed or questions asked.

Labour will seek to have the Morris reports referred to the Oireachtas Justice Committee so that the commissioner, former ministers and justice officials can be invited for questioning. Fine Gael will ask that the passing of the new garda bill on reorganisation of the force be deferred until Justice Morris’s recommendations can be incorporated into it.

The Examiner also pose some questions:

Why has it taken 11 months for the Dail to discuss the tribunal reports?

Why are gardai criticised in the reports allowed retire without facing disciplinary proceedings?

How long before Justice Morris’s recommendations are implemented?

Why won’t tribunal terms of reference be widened to examine the role of current/former ministers, attorneys general, garda commissioners and DPPs?

Why can’t McBreartys have tribunal legal fees guaranteed like gardaa­?

Why was Frank McBrearty Jnr’s action against the State fought before settlement plans were suggested?

What will the Government do about the other 40 similar actions pending?

Why have the family of Richie Barron received no formal apology?

When was Richie Barron’s death reclassified as a hit-and-run, on whose instructions and on what basis?

Who killed Richie Barron and what efforts are being made to prosecute the person responsible?