Parents hope their son's death will not be in vain


REACTION:THE PARENTS of Clonmel schoolboy Brian Rossiter yesterday said they hoped their son's death would not be in vain and welcomed recommendations made by the jury regarding the detention of young people and those with obvious injuries or illness in Garda custody.

Brian's mother Siobhán said she wanted to reiterate the comments made by Cork City coroner Dr Myra Cullinane, who said she hoped that "Brian's death was not in vain."

Brian's father Pat said he hoped recommendations by the jury about detention would assist.

"I would have gone further. I think there should be cameras in all areas of the Garda stations around the country - in corridors, entries, as well as exits. I think it's very important that CCTV should be in all areas of every Garda station," Mr Rossiter said.

Mr and Mrs Rossiter said they were not surprised by the open verdict, and it was the best outcome available, given the limited scope available to jurors to make findings which do not implicate or blame anyone. "It is the verdict that we expected, we couldn't have expected any other verdict because an inquest has restrictions. It was never going to find out why Brian died, so under those circumstances, we are happy with the verdict today," Mrs Rossiter said.

Mr Rossiter added: "The coroner's court has restrictions and can't come to a conclusion where blame is apportioned . . . the coroner ruled out unlawful death, or unlawful killing . . . she was fairly restricted to bring in an open verdict." He said it was "a grave mistake" on his part to allow himself "be talked into" leaving Brian in Garda custody and one he would live with for the rest of his life.

If he had been given proper information on the night, he would have gone to see Brian.

"And I know for a fact I would have insisted on medical assistance on the night but due to the false information or misleading information that I was given, I was angry and worried about practical matters," he said.

The Rossiters' solicitor, Cian O'Carroll, queried the failure of Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to take any disciplinary action on foot of the Hartnett report, which found Brian had been unlawfully detained and the circumstances of his death not fully investigated. The commissioner carried out disciplinary action relating to keeping custody records but had not acted on the main failings identified.