Belfast Telegraph

Gardai 'stripped special needs boy naked and whipped him with belt', claims doctor

A retired doctor has claimed a "special needs boy" was stripped naked and whipped with his own belt in Garda custody.

Dr Richard O'Flaherty told the Oireachtas Justice Committee the 17-year-old was arrested after he borrowed his father's car.

He said the young man was arrested by gardai who took off his clothes and beat him while he was detained.

Dr O'Flaherty was speaking at an Oireachtas hearing on proposed changes to the Garda Siochana Act.

Dr O'Flaherty - who is a member of victims group Justice4all - said he forwarded his complaint to former Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

He earlier told how a diabetic women went into a coma after she was denied medication while in custody.

On this occasion, Dr O'Flaherty claimed he asked gardai to bring the woman to hospital because of the severity of her condition but was told he could not.   He said the same women wet herself in a holding cell because she was not allowed go to the toilet.

Justice Committee chairman David Stanton interjected when Dr Flaherty was recounting the story of the disabled boy and asked that he comment only on legislative changes to the Garda Siochana Act.

Independent TD Finian McGrath said Dr O'Flaherty should be allowed continue with the statement he provided to the committee before the hearing.  He said the committee needed to hear  "human stories".

Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins also said Dr O'Flaherty should be allowed continue with his opening statement.

However, they were overruled by Mr Stanton who insisted Dr O'Flaherty should continue by giving recommendations on changes to the Garda Siochana Act.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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