'All we want is the truth'
The family of the late Shane Tuohey say that they will have nothing to do with the upcoming inquiry into his death unless the terms of reference are changed.
The remains of the 23-year-old from Rahan were discovered in the River Brosna seven days after he disappeared during a night out in Clara on February 2, 2002.
Shane’s family have long believed he was assaulted before his death and have spent the last 15 years fighting for a full re-investigation into the circumstances of his death.
After Shane’s case came before the Independent Review Mechanism last year, the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced that there would be an independent, non-statutory inquiry into his case.
However, speaking to the Offaly Independent this week, Shane’s father Eamonn says that his family will not not participate with the inquiry unless the terms of reference are changed. Mr Tuohey wants his legal team, which is now headed by Northern Irish human rights lawyer Kevin Winters, to be able to question witnesses under oath.
'We will have no input unless it is under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights [which would enable the Touhey’s legal team to question witnesses]. It’s something we are entitled to and my son, who is dead, is entitled to. We got no proper investigation into his death.
'We are not going to rest. All we are asking for is the truth. We are asking that Article Two is employed in the inquiry.
The Tuohey’s lawyer, Kevin Winters, says that he has written to the Justice Department to try and ensure that the terms are “article two compliant”, but has yet to receive a response.
“We are at loggerheads with the justice minister’s department on this crucial issue. They are in sight of getting an inquiry, an important point on their journey for getting justice for Shane. However, their concerns about the terms of reference only serve to compound their stress.”