John Maloney, Terence Wheelock

Two more names that have arose, both of whom died in Garda custody.

The family of John Maloney jnr (18), who died in 2003 after being detained in Rathfarnham Garda station, Dublin, had called for an inquiry into his death. Mr Maloney was found unconscious less than an hour after his release and died 11 days later in hospital. An inquest into his death returned an open verdict.

The family protested outside the Dail yesterday with the family of Terence Wheelock (20), who died in September 2005, three months after he was found unconscious in a cell in Store Street Garda station in Dublin.

Both families have called on the Government to set up investigations into the two deaths. A Garda spokesman said there was an inquiry into the death of John Maloney jnr which found all procedures had been followed and there was no need for a further inquiry.

If only the inquiry was public and independent. But it wasn’t. I think the question that has to be asked here is, if you are picked up by the Gardai for whatever reason, and you die in custody, should there not be an independent investigation in every instance? Otherwise question marks will always hang over the keepers of the peace. It is for their benefit as much as for ours.