Skip to main content

DAFM’s Dan Brennan investigation to be independently reviewed

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has announced that he will seek an independent review of the department's investigation into the cause of serious animal-health issues detected on the Kilkenny farm of Dan Brennan 20 years ago.
Minister McConalogue announced in the Dáil this week that he will seek an independent review.

Emissions from a nearby brick factory – since closed – were deemed by the department at that time, not to be the cause of the unexplained animal health issues and deformities. The case came to prominence again recently due to a report by the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine which was discussed in the Dáil this week. This report raised questions about the findings of the investigation, and highlighted again the questions that remain unanswered for Dan Brennan and his family.
Minister McConalogue stated: “In acknowledgement of the work the committee has done and the questions it is raising it is appropriate that I have a separate independent review of the department's investigation and any information that fed into it, to examine this further, provide feedback and look at what has been done.”
The announcement has been welcomed with president of the ICMSA, Denis Drennan stating that he had ‘no doubt whatsoever that the circumstances around Mr Brennan’s complaints warranted serious study with the outcome to be made public’. He said two aspects must be looked at distinctly: the allegations made by Mr Brennan pertaining to the brick factory emissions, and whether these were well-founded; and whether the department’s handling of those allegations and investigations were proper and met the standards expected and set out.
He commended the work of the Oireachtas committee, which he described as ‘notable and robust’.
IFA president, Francie Gorman said that the minister’s announcement was a positive step, but that the ‘terms of reference of the review would be crucial’. He said Mr Brennan had suffered a living nightmare.
“It is a positive step that the minister has announced the review.  I hope it will bring justice and closure for Dan Brennan and his family,” he said.
“The former IFA president Padraig Walshe led a campaign on this case and he continued to pursue it until his untimely death last year,” he said.
“We look forward to seeing the terms of reference for this review,” he said.