Failure of Ombudsman Commision to start enquires obstructs independent investigation into killing

The failure to get the new Ombudsman Commission up and running after more than a year since its inception is underlined by the absence of any independent mechanism now to enquire into the extraordinary case concerning the Clondalkin man, Derek O'Toole, who was killed by a car being driven by an off-duty Garda on Sunday morning last (4 March).

The family of the man wants a full investigation but the only investigation now underway is that of An Garda Síochána, whose handling of the case so far has given rise to major doubts about the impartiality of the force in such circumstances.

Derek O'Toole died in hospital on Sunday morning after his body was found on Main Street in Lucan in Co Dublin. Gardaí say the death of the 24-year-old appears to have been a tragic accident. They confirmed that a serving member of the gardaí had been arrested and breathalysed but was found not to be over the drink-drive limit.

It appears that other gardaí were in the car with this garda at the time of the accident. The Garda press office has been saying Derek O'Toole was lying on the road when the car, being driven by the garda, hit him.

There are reports that the Ombudsman Commission has encountered persistent obstruction and foot-dragging in its efforts to get into operation quickly.