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New claims against gardaí: teenager with special needs 'whipped' with a belt

Dr Richard O’Flaherty also told an Oireachtas committee of a 45-year-old diabetic woman allegedly being prevented from going to the toilet and not given any medication for hours.

Updated 22.48

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has heard claims that a teenage boy with special needs was whipped by gardaí and that methadone is being given out “willy nilly” at some garda stations.

Dr Richard O’Flaherty, a retired on-call doctor for garda stations in Limerick, also told the Oireachtas Justice Committee about a case of a 45-year-old woman being arrested, reportedly prevented from going to the toilet and not given any medication or food for hours. She later ended up in a vegetative state.

During his testimony, the doctor alleged that a 17-year-old boy with special needs had his pants removed and was whipped with a belt at a Garda station after taking his father’s car. The boy was allegedly told that his father would also be arrested.

Committee chair David Stanton interrupted O’Flaherty to seek his input into the reform of the Garda Siochána Act 2005 which the committee is currently examining and has been holding hearings on all day.

Methadone

Later O’Flaherty claimed that methadone is given out “willy nilly” in Garda stations citing one alleged case in Dublin where a patient died because the gardaí had not checked the patient’s medical history. He was also critical that many gardaí are not trained to use defibrilators.

He told the committee that as a member of the Justice4All organisation he sent photos he had taken of beatings in Garda stations to the now former justice minister Alan Shatter and that in his response Shatter said CCTV cameras would be installed in garda stations.

Dr O’Flaherty said that the Garda Superintendent in charge of investigating his claims was removed as he was allegedly not handling it properly.

He added that the case has been ongoing for two years as he has to “chase” those involved.

The hearing continues.

- with reporting from Órla Ryan

Read: Guards being able to investigate guards is ‘questionable’ – GSOC chief

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Hugh O'Connell

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