herald

Monday 10 December 2018

Melee breaks out in station on tragic death anniversary

Terence Wheelock
Terence Wheelock

Gardai had to deal with a violent disorder incident linked to the anniversary of the death of a young man in garda custody.

Associates of Terence Wheelock became violent after officers did not let them put flowers in the cell where the 20-year-old was found.

The incident unfolded in the front office of Store Street Garda Station at around 10.30pm on Tuesday when friends of tragic Mr Wheelock entered the station with flowers on the ninth anniversary of his death.

During the course of the melee, a garda sergeant was allegedly bitten on the arm by a 20-year-old female from Balbriggan in north Dublin.

Earlier, a 24-year-old man had to be arrested after he allegedly shouted "murdering scum" at the garda who was sitting at the public desk in the station.

Sources said that the young Dublin man became increasingly more "threatening and abusive" and ended up throwing the flowers at gardai.

It is understood that some of the people who entered the station's were "highly intoxicated" and two people were arrested - a male and a female.

The sergeant who was allegedly bit on the arm did not require hospital treatment as the bite did not break his skin.

Sources said that gardai did not have to use pepper spray during the course of the violent incident in which around ten officers were involved.

UNCONSCIOUS

Terence Wheelock (20), of O'Casey Avenue, in north inner-city Dublin, died in the Mater Hospital on September 16, 2005, after he had been found unconscious in a cell in Store Street Garda Station on June 2, 2005.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was called in to establish whether or not the conduct of any member of the force had caused the death of or serious harm to Mr Wheelock.

The GSOC report, which was published in March 2010, found that there was no credible evidence that Mr Wheelock had been mistreated.

There was insufficient evidence to support the allegation he was assaulted by gardai during his arrest at Sean O'Casey Avenue on June 2, 2005.

But it established that systemic failures and the lack of clear instruction led to the presence of a ligature suspension point in his cell.

In July 2007, an inquest into Mr Wheelock's death recorded a verdict of death by suicide.

Mr Wheelock died of bronchial pneumonia on September 16, 2005, and the cause of death was recorded as hypoxic brain injury due to ligature compression of the neck due to hanging.

kfoy@herald.ie

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