Independent TD Mattie McGrath is scheduled to introduce a Private Members Bill aimed at amending the requirements for composition of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB). Deputy McGrath was speaking as his Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Amendment Bill 2019, is set to be brought before the Dáil after the Order of Business later today:
“This Bill is an attempt to draw some good out of a tragedy that befell two families in my own constituency in Sunday, 23 May, 2010.
On that day John O’Brien and his good friend Patrick Esmonde, went fishing off Helvick Head, Co Waterford.
Tragically they never returned to their loved ones. Since then I have worked closely with John O’Brien’s sister Anne-Marie to have a full, open and thorough investigation into the exact cause of death to be established.
That fight will continue.
What this Bill seeks to do however is rectify the bizarre situation we now have where there is no legal obligation on the Minister for Transport to ensure that members of the MCIB have maritime or marine accident experience.
This has always been a major issue with the families who have never accepted the official outcome of the investigation in to their loved ones deaths.
If this Bill is accepted and passed then it will strengthen the onus on the Minister of the day to ensure that qualified and suitable candidates are selected for the membership of the Board.
I want to extend my heart felt admiration to both families who have persisted in their campaign for almost a decade.
In particular I want to mention John’s sister Anne-Marie who has never given up the fight for justice. John and Anne-Marie’s family can rightly be proud of the work she has done,” concluded Deputy McGrath.