The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission today launched its first “public interest” investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Terence Wheelock who was found hanging in his cell at Store Street Garda Station in Dublin on June 3, 2005.
In a statement released today, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission said that it is in the public interest to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Terence Wheelock who died three months later on September 16, 2005.
Earlier this month, an inquest into his death found that he died by suicide.
Mr Wheelock died at the Mater Hospital, after he was found hanging by the cord of his tracksuit bottoms in a Garda cell in June 2005.
His family campaigned extensively for an independent inquiry into his death, and were upset by the Coroner Court's verdict that he died by suicide.
The Garda Ombudsman has now decided that in the public interest, it will investigate the 20-year-old's death.
They will examine any action that may have been taken by the Gardaí during Terence's arrest and detention that may have contributed to his death - including the fact that the cord of the tracksuit bottoms were left with him in his cell.
Senior Officer Brian Doherty will head the inquiry, which is the first of ever to be launched by the Ombudsman in 'the public interest'.
The investigation will be the first of its kind undertaken by the Ombudsman Commission under Section 102 (4) of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005, which is the section that allows for investigations “ in the public interest” without the necessity to have received a complaint regarding Garda conduct.