Family, friends, deserve answers

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The family of Dick O’Flaherty has every right to be frustrated. The investigation into the death of the 51-year-old brother, son, uncle and friend is a year in and no charges or explanation has been forthcoming from police.

What those close to Mr. Flaherty want is answers, and an arrest. Hopefully both come in time, and some closure can be brought to his life. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is working on the investigation, they’re told. Progress should be forthcoming.

“For us, what’s important is to get the investigation correct because it’s important to everybody else,” Insp. Terry Corbin said Tuesday.

It’s easy to see why the “outsider” card is playing a factor for loved ones in the perceived delay, as Mr. O’Flaherty wasn’t exactly a model citizen. He had more than one brush with the law, including a 15-month jail sentence for striking a woman in 2008.

Regardless of his lifestyle, or criminal past, his apparent homicide deserves the same police attention as the doctor or lawyer far removed from the housing units of the city’s downtown.

“There’s a big empty spot there,” Eddie Welshman says as he talked about the past year without the man he’s known for most of his life. “We miss him very much.”

There are many looking at Mr. O’Flaherty’s death through the same lens.

The obituary in June 2013 listed a sizeable family, each with their own stories and memories of the Mr. Flaherty. He was one of six children of Frances and Patrick O'Flaherty, which included a slew of uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins.

Like any family, they need closure on the death. Like any family, they grow frustrated with each passing day that answer doesn’t come.

The RNC assures us it is continuing to work on the case. Over the past year officers have interviewed about 30 people to help piece together the answers. They’ve sent the evidence off for tests, and then more tests.

Let’s hope an explanation is forthcoming and those who called Mr. O’Flaherty family or a friend are given a resolution.

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