McDowell announces inquiry into Rossiter death


The Minister for Justice has announced a statutory inquiry into the death of 14-year-old Brian Rossiter after he was taken into Garda custody in 2002.

The Clonmel teenager was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence on September 10th, 2002, and was held overnight in a Garda station with his father’s consent.

However, he was found in a coma the next day and died two days after he was transferred to hospital.

In a statement, the Minister's office said: "Following recent reports and allegations about the tragic death of Brian Rossiter following a period when he was held in Garda custody in Clonmel in September 2002, the Minister has decided to appoint Mr. Hugh Hartnett, Senior Counsel, to carry out a statutory inquiry into all the circumstances surrounding Brian's arrest, treatment and detention.

"On the coming into effect of the Garda Síochána Bill, which was passed today by both Houses of the Oireachtas, every such incident will in future be the subject of a mandatory investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission."

Brian had been arrested along with two other boys for public order offences in Mitchell Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at around 9.30pm on the night of September 10th 2002, and brought to Clonmel Garda Station, where he was put in a cell on his own.

The following morning he was found unconscious in his cell and was then rushed by ambulance to St Joseph's Hospital, Clonmel, from where he was transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH). Three days later, he died at CUH, never having regained consciousness.