Cell death: family to fund forensic tests

THE family of 20-year-old Terence Wheelock yesterday said they would raise funds themselves to pay for an independent forensic examination after the Government turned them down.

Mr Wheelock, from Summerhill, in Dublin, was found unconscious in a cell at Store Street Garda Station last June after apparently attempting to hang himself with a cord from his tracksuit bottoms. He was brought to the Mater Hospital but never regained consciousness and died on September 16, 2005.

His family has questioned the circumstances of his death and claims he was mistreated while in custody.

The family had been seeking funding from the Government for an independent forensic examination to be carried out on Mr Wheelock’s clothing.

Yvonne Bambury, a barrister for the family, told his inquest they had received a letter from the Justice Department indicating they were not going to fund the independent forensic examination of the clothes.

At an earlier hearing into the death of the 20-year-old, the inquest heard Justice Minister Michael McDowell had indicated funding would be granted to the family for the examination. But the department had later questioned the admissibility of evidence from an independent forensic examination. Ms Bambury said the family would now have to fundraise to meet the cost of the examination which could mount to several thousand euro. The family said it would be difficult for them to raise the money.

The inquest heard independent forensic experts would most likely travel to Ireland in two to three weeks to examine the items which are in garda custody.

The Dublin city coroner said the full inquest would be heard in November.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

New episodes available each Tuesday during December

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence