25 March 2006

Inquiries plea on two deaths

Daily Ireland

Answers sought after arrested men end up dead


• Two families demand answers
• The Wheelocks and Maloneys believe they have been denied justice
• Terence Wheelock and John Maloney Jr both died shortly after release from Garda custody
• Families say investigations show inconsistencies
• Time has come for inquiries, say relatives

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Relatives of Terence Wheelock and John Maloney join forces

Two families of two young men who died in suspicious circumstances after being arrested and detained by gardaí have demanded inquiries into their deaths.
Relatives of Terence Wheelock (20), who died in September last three months after he was found unconscious in a cell in Dublin’s Store Street Garda station — joined forces with the Maloney family, whose son John Jr collapsed and later died after being released from Garda custody.
Terence Wheelock would have been 21 yesterday. According to gardaí, he tried to hang himself.
The relatives and friends of the two dead men protested outside the Dáil.
Both families urged the government to set up independent probes into the two deaths, claiming they had been denied justice.
Larry Wheelock, Terence’s brother, said there were too many unanswered questions and a string of inconsistent accounts from state bodies.
“All we are looking for is answers into Terence’s death and an independent public inquiry is the only way to get those. That is not too much to ask for in a civilised society,” he said.
“I’m sure Michael McDowell would expect the same if he was in a similar situation.”
Petitions backing the two families were signed by dozens of relatives, friends and supporters and handed to Labour Party justice spokesman Joe Costello to present to the justice minister.
Teenager John Maloney Jr, from Crumlin in Dublin, was arrested in May 2003 and detained at Rathfarnham Garda station. He was found lying unconscious less than an hour after his release. He died 11 days later in hospital.
An open verdict was returned at an inquest into the 18-year-old’s death.
John’s mother Sandra Maloney said: “They denied they ever had my son. I heard it on the radio that there was a lad found unconscious, and I recognised that it was my son. My husband went to the Garda station and they said he was in Tallaght Hospital with a bump on his head.”
Mrs Maloney said her son had not signed any release forms before leaving Rathfarnham Garda station. She said his body had been covered in bruises on his chest, hips, back and neck and that he had had marks on his kneecaps.

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