Apply the Rule of Law Minister Linehan….. (this was written 2002)
Rule of Law…….Brian Rossiter 14 years old and death in custody…..Why?
The sad and tragic and highly suspicious death of the young boy, Brian Rossiter, is back in the headlines today. The findings of the inquiry into the 14 year old boy’s death, while in Gardai custody, six years ago, has prompted the family solicitor to write to the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan – the letter openly states what charges will be brought by the State against the Gardai named in this damning report?
This report is a condemnation of physical abuse and corruption yet again at a very high level among An Gardai Siochana – (Clonmel).
Brian was arrested on September 10th, in 2002. The Gardai told his father – his son was under the influence of both drugs and drink. The father sadly gave permission for Brian to be held overnight at the station. His father’s sad words were ‘I thought I was doing my best for my son…..but he died in the hands of the state’.
A more sinister element entered Brian Rossiter’s death when the Gardai arrested Noel Hannigan for an assault on Brian Rossiter. Hannigan pleaded guilty to head butting young Rossiter, a number of times and received a 2 and a half year sentence. Strangely during the trial another charge was put up against Hannigan – the charge was manslaughter. When the case moved before the court, the DPP swiftly moved in and withdrew the charges. The DPP James Hamilton issued a very serious statement. The Gardai added on charges without the consent of the DPP and an enquiry will be conducted into how this happened.
Very serious, I would suggest. Of course, it is a Cover Up. Now enters Maura Cassidy, State Pathologist, from Scotland. Miss Cassidy, not her first time to make serious mistakes in postmortems. Dr. Pomeroy is taking Dr. Cassidy to court this year regarding the death of her son. Dr. Cassidy’s postmortem referred to the Pomeroy boy’s consumption of alcohol, but Dr. Pomeroy replied that her son never drank. Now here is a serious twist in this cover-up: Dr. Cassidy found that the haemorrhage which lead to Rossiter’s death was a result of slow internal bleeding that happened at the time of Hannigan’s assault. But, this cannot be, because the DPP withdrew those charges.
Two British medical experts, at the statutory inquiry disagreed with Dr. Cassidy. They concluded the 14 year old received his fatal injury either just before or during his time Garda custody, that leaves Hannigan in the clear and it leaves some rogue Gardai and Dr. Cassidy in the loop.
I will close by asking are the Gardai Siochana a private army of Fianna Fail – I believe a lot of them are. Don’t forget some months ago, Assistant Commissioner, Martin Donnellan sat at the top table at Clontarf Castle with Bertie Ahern and co. That surely leaves the Deputy Commissioner compromised. Some members of the Gardai Siochana are responsible for this young boys death and I ask tonight that they come forward and face a criminal court. Don’t forget the cover-up relating to the young Wheelock boy in Store Street Station.
Fragile Freedom – Germaine Greer (1939 – ) Australian feminist academic
‘Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure is to betray
Charging Hannigan with manslaughter.
On 30 June 2005, a statutory inquiry was announced by the then Irish Minister for Justice Michael McDowell into Brian Rossiter’s death, with the Minister apologising to the family for the way the case had been handled so far. The inquiry, led by Senior Counsel Hugh Hartnett was criticised by Rossiter’s family for its limited scope. Pat Rossiter expressed his lack of confidence that the inquiry would be permitted to ask if his son had been killed at the garda station, and if so, who was responsible. The family threatened not to participate. There was a disagreement over legal fees. McDowell, though, insisted that the inquiry would have full powers.
On 5 December 2005, the statutory inquiry into the death of Brian Rossiter opened in Dublin. It was expected to last for three months and to hear from 120 witnesses in private session. The Rossiter family’s solicitor, Cian O’Carroll of Lynch and Partners, spoke of his belief that the terms of reference would still not allow the inquiry to get at the key issue, which he said was whether Rossiter had died from injuries inflicted inside the garda station or not, and, if he had sustained these injuries inside the garda station, then who had caused them. Pat Rossiter spoke of feeling “a bit anxious and a bit apprehensive” at the start of the inquiry but he also “hoped for the best”. The Irish government had agreed to pay the family’s out-of-pocket expenses, and for some of the preparatory work involved in the case.
The inquiry found no evidence that Rossiter had been assaulted inside the garda station, but found that he had been unlawfully detained by the gardaí. It sat for 80 days between December 2005 and September 2006, heard from 100 witnesses, including seven of Clonmel’s gardaí, and reported in April 2008. In February 2008, Rossiter’s family had criticised the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, believing that he had set up the inquiry under the wrong Act. With the inquiry completed, however, an inquest into Brian Rossiter’s death could now be held, as soon as a private action taken by the Rossiter family against Cork City Coroner, to allow evidence from two UK-based Professors of Forensic Pathology to be admissible, was settled.
I agree with comments here today to a certain point but we can’t have a miscarriage of Justice because we have had no inquiries yet. The Rossiter case haunts me. My first simple question to the State and Mr. McDowell, retired Minister for Justice, is how could a 15 year old minor be detained in a Garda Cell. Simply, this is contrary to the Law but sadly young Rossiter was, and he paid a high price – his life, for it.
Was this murder? Was it manslaughter? Whatever happened, it happened and this young boy is dead. At top Scottish Forensic expert/neurosurgeon, in his own analysis, said in his own words, this young boy died between the hours of Garda custody. This means young Rossiter received a blow to the head which caused internal bleeding in the brain.
McDowell used an old law to cover full disclosure in this investigation. Some member of the Gardai or others know what happened? I am sure some have their own children the same age. Please God, bring a Whistleblower!
Many years ago in a small village in Shercock, Co. Cavan, a man in his late 50’s was arrested because of the theft of a pension book. That night, he died in the prison cell in Shercock. His spleen was busted so severely, it actually caused massive bleeding and death. The Sergeant retired, a young Garda from Mayo left the job and went to America. Detective Sergeant Jordan stood trial for the death of this poor man. He received a 5 year suspended sentence. He know drives a taxi in the South West of Ireland.
Presently, I am watching the Dublin Circuit Court. I read the cases of Judge Patricia Ryan (wife of Minister Lenihan). I can see no mercy – instead I see young offenders receiving 9, 10, 11 years for not very serious crimes. Our prison system is in tatters. It is overflowing in numbers – I ask is Locking up Kids the Answer
What alternatives e.g. prison system in Norway.
FRED …. in the midst of nostalgia is reminded about the travesty of justice and the death of Brian Rossiter in 2002. 23rd June 2019, reading the Sunday Business Post – a profile of Cian O’Carroll by Barry J. Whyte and Susan Mitchell reported the following:
Then there was the Brian Rossiter case, in which a 14-year-old boy had been arrested by gardai and later died in his cell. The case came to O’Carroll (Cian) because the Rossiter family lived in nearby Clonmel.
The lengthy and multifaceted case included an inquest into Rossiter’s death, a judicial review against the coroner, a civil case against the Garda, a tribunal investigation and – as would become characteristic of O’Carroll’s career – a high-profile media presence.
O’Carroll took the case before the public became aware of the enormous number of Garda scandals. In 2005, he decided to go to veteran journalist Vincent Browne, who was then running Village magazine, to break the story.
Eventually the State settled with the Rossiters for £200,000, but without any admission of liability….The Rossiter cased marked O’Carroll’s arrival in the public consciousness as a vocal advocate for his clients in the American style that Flynn described. O’Carroll said he had learned a huge amount about how a lawyer can use the oxygen of publicity to achieve positive goals for clients.