International Maritime Lawyer, Michael Kingston has called on the Garda Commissioner to take action on foot of the Roisin Lacey Report
International Maritime Lawyer, Michael Kingston has called on the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to take action and investigate the Department of Transport following the revelations of the Roisin Lacey Report he received via a whistleblower.
The Report was commissioned by in then Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey and delivered on 25 August 2010, but the report was subsequently buried, and the recommendations ignored claims Mr Kingston. This in turn has led to the unnecessary loss of life including the crew of the Rescue 116 who were lost at the Black Rock off Belmullet, Co Mayo on 14 March 2017.
Mr Kingston made the call ahead of the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) (Amendment) Bill 2021 being debated before the Dáil tomorrow, Wednesday 23 February.
In a letter addressed to the Gardaí, Mr Kingston writes that the Roisin Lacey Report shows a gross misconduct in office and requires investigation. He says, “The document is conclusive proof of the ensuing misconduct in public office. I attach the documentation. It is disappointing that I have had to obtain these myself without the assistance of An Garda Siochana, despite my request.”
The decision by the Minister to ignore the Lacey Report has led to circumstances that could have been avoided had the recommendation been implemented. Part of these recommendations was the formation of a National Investigation Office, says Mr Kingston.
“The Roisin Lacey report recommended a National Accident Investigation Office, independent in every way from the Transport Department, encompassing Aviation, Rail and Marine, identifying that it had to be done to comply with the EU Directive that was being transposed into Irish law in 2011. That did not happen, and the Directive was deliberately transposed incorrectly, with all the ensuing conflict consequences, involving deliberate criminal acts. The current ‘proposed legislation’ following the CJEU Judgment against Ireland (for doing exactly the opposite of what was required) of July 2020 was debated in the Dail on 24 November 2021. This failed legislation does not address these fundamental failures, and the Department has never disclosed the Roisin Lacey Report, and now is withholding the Clinch Report of July 2021.
“The failure to establish this Accident Investigation Office is also hugely material to the ensuing lack of oversight of Irish Coastguard Helicopter operations, and therefore the Rescue 116 tragedy. The Report into that tragedy was issued in November 2021 and identified systematic and unbelievable failures in safety oversight by the Transport Department. In short 4 precious citizens of our nation were sent to their death. However, no mention, or disclosure was made of this very important report of 2010 with very serious recommendations about oversight of Aviation, as well as Rail and Marine investigation, and every time a T.D has requested it the Minister (his officials) have not produced it. A whistle-blower sent it to me, acting, like all the others, in the interests of justice.
Mr Kingston called on the Garda Commissioner for an urgent meeting to how these ‘criminal acts’ are going to be investigated, and how the Gardaí are going to assist him with the evidence of the multiple whistle-blowers involved.
He says, “I remind Garda Commissioner Harris that this involves the difference between life and death, with unnecessary lives lost, fundamental rights of families in investigations breached, and vast amounts of resources wasted in unnecessary rescue missions, including those of An Garda Siochana, due to deliberate dishonest acts and deliberate failures to act, in an on-going defiance to fix the system. This is a never-ending example of the most gross display of deliberate failure, causing death, that the Irish State has ever seen.”
by Oliver McBride