Report into Rossiter death finished

A REPORT into the circumstances surrounding the death of Brian Rossiter, who died two days after falling unconscious while in garda custody, has been completed.

The Hartnett Inquiry, which was charged with examining the circumstances surrounding the death of the 14-year-old in 2002, should be published by the end of the month, Cork Coroner’s Court was told.

The previously adjourned inquest into Mr Rossiter’s death was up for mention again yesterday.

Inspector John Quilter told the coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, that garda authorities in Clonmel had informed him that the inquiry has been completed.

He asked for the inquest to be adjourned pending the publication of the report.

Ms Cullinane agreed and put the inquest in for mention again on February 22 in anticipation that the report will have been published.

Brian was found unconscious in a cell in Clonmel Garda station on the morning of September 11, 2002.

He had been arrested the previous night for a suspected public order offence.

He died at Cork University Hospital on September 13, 2002.

Noel Hannigan, a 26-year-old father of two, from Cooleens Close, Cashel Road, Clonmel, was jailed on November 6 last for two-and-a-half years after he admitted head-butting Brian four or five times during an unprovoked assault on the youth on September 9, 2002.

It was previously stated by Cian O’Carroll, the solicitor for Brian Rossiter’s parents, Pat and Siobhán, that there was no link between the assault and Brian’s death.

The Government appointed senior counsel Hugh Hartnett to carry out a sworn inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Brian’s arrest and detention.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said yesterday that he has yet to receive the report.

He reiterated a previous commitment to publish its findings, but didn’t say when that was likely to be.

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