Limerick GP alleges boy with special needs was ‘stripped and whipped’ in custody

A Limerick GP has revealed he sent Alan Shatter pictures of bruised patients that he claims were beaten in Garda custody, and that the then-justice minister told him more CCTV would be installed in Garda stations.

Dr Richard O’Flaherty attempted to highlight allegations against gardaí in an Oireachtas Justice Committee hearing yesterday but was stopped from doing so.

These included claims a boy with special needs was stripped and whipped by a garda while in custody.

The on-call doctor for Garda stations claimed that people had died in custody as members of the force had insufficient training in dealing with sick people.

TDs also heard calls for extra powers for the Garda Inspectorate but an admittance that those on the frontline lacked training and were also coping with severe criticism from the public.

Dr O’Flaherty, with 40 years’ experience, outlined allegations of gardaí abusing people in custody.

This included a 95-year-old diabetic who was denied her medicine and an independent doctor while at a station.

He also claimed gardaí had taken a 17-year-old boy with special needs into custody and beat him. “He was taken in, stripped of his underpants, and whipped with a belt,” Dr O’Flaherty told shocked TDs.

Committee chairman David Stanton reminded Dr O’Flaherty about making unsubstantiated claims but also asked him to elaborate on rules for those in custody.

The GP claimed people had died in custody as gardaí were not trained properly.

Dr O’Flaherty said he had deputised as a coroner in Limerick, adding: “I know what goes on.”

During hearings, The Garda Inspectorate also told TDs it should be allowed to make “cold calls” to Garda facilities.

Some TDs suggested the Garda inspectorate was “an organisation too many”.

The Government has asked the committee to hold hearings on how legislation can be changed to improve agencies, including Garda watchdogs and the force.

Middle-ranking gardaí warned the public were showing anger to members on the frontline following a raft of recent scandals.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors also said it had received a new directive that those in custody must be granted access to a solicitor if they request one.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.