Garda commissioner preventing new inquest into 2001 road death – Higgins

North West MEP Jim Higgins says a decision by the Garda Commissioner not to facilitate a new inquest into the death of a 22 year old Donegal woman in 2001 is "bizarre and illogical".

The Attorney General in the North is being asked to open a fresh inquest into the death of Sinead Mc Daid on foot of a report commissioned by An Garda Siochana, but Mr Higgins says the commissioner is refusing to make the report avaiable.

The inquest must take place in the North because Ms Mc Daid  died in Altnagelvin Hospital after her car went out of control and crashed on a section of road near Culdaff which had been resurfaced that day by Donegal County Council.

On the 10th of July, 2003, an inquest into the death of Sinead Mc Daid was held in Derry and a verdict was returned that the death was due to multiple injuries arising from a road traffic collision. An Garda Siochana attended the inquest.

Two years later, Sinead's father Sean Farren wrote to the then Garda Commissioner complaining that all the circumstance surrounding his daughter's death had not been properly investigated. He listed a number of question to which he felt the family was entitled to answers.

Later that year, Superintendent Padraig Kennedy of Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station began a comprehensive review of the initial investigation, with a brief to conduct any furthe investigations he deemed necessary.

Mr Higgins says in February 2007, Supt. Kennedy concluded that grave acts of omission were committed by Donegal County Council in the manner in which they conducted their road surfacing operation, possibly amounting to 'reckless endangerment.' "

On the basis of that, the Farren family contacted the Attorney General for Northern Ireland requesting a further inquest in to their daughter's death. His office contacted Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan requesting the release of a copy of Supt. Kennedy's report, but that request has been refused.

Mr Higgins says he will raise the issue with Justice Minister Alan Shatter, and if necessary, ask for a full hearing on the matter before the European Parliament Petitions Committee.