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The family of Terence Wheelock were attacked by Gardaí in their home in Summerhill in the centre of Dublin last night. Up to 30 Garda officers were involved in assaulting six members of the family, including a pregnant woman. Terence died from injuries he received in garda custody last year. His family have been highlighting his case for over six months since his life support machine was switched off after he never woke from a coma, and are calling for an independent public inquiry.
Robert, Terence's brother, recounts what happened. "My youngest brother was handing out leaflets for the protest outside Store St Garda Station on the 3rd of June. He's been getting hassle all the time from the Garda. A Garda saw him handing out leaflets and told him to get out of the area - but it was right across from the family house! My brother said to the Garda "I'm delivering these leaflets", and then the Garda jumped on him. All of a sudden a rake of police cars arrived in."
Last night gardaí attacked the family of Terence Wheelock, the young man who died as a result of the injuries he received in garda custody last year.
Terence’s mother, father, two brothers and two sisters were assaulted by members of An Garda Síochána. One of his sisters is 6 months pregnant and received a baton blow in the stomach.
Terence’s younger brother was delivering leaflets advertising the upcoming protest vigil at Store Street garda station on the 3rd June. The same garda who had originally arrested Terence on the day he received his injuries, approached him and tore up the leaflets. He then attempted to arrest Terence’s brother. When members of the family questioned the reason for his arrest they were attacked by over 30 garda. During the attack a 10 year old girl received a baton blow on the legs and members of the family were assaulted. A gang of gardaí ran into the house assaulting Mrs. Wheelock, her pregnant daughter and another female friend. A two year old child in the house was left terrified.
At least 10 garda officers remained outside the house and in the street until 6:30am. How many times do we hear the gardaí complaining about lack of manpower and resources yet they can afford to have 10 garda standing around intimidating the Wheelock family while the area is flooded with drugs and open drug-dealing.
The family intend making an official complaint about the incident.
Robert Wheelock, Terence's brother, who has been involved in the campaign for an independent inquiry into Terence's death in Garda custody, talked about what happened last night in Summerhill:
"My youngest brother was handing out leaflets for the protest outside Store St Garda Station on the 3rd of June. He's been getting hassle all the time from the Garda. A Garda saw him handing out leaflets and told him to get out of the area - but it was right across from the family house [just off Summerhill Parade]. My brother said to the Garda "I'm delivering these leaflets", and then the Garda jumped on him. All of a sudden a rake of police cars arrived in. The Garda assaulted my mother, father, and my pregnant sister. They hit her in the stomach with a baton. She was up in the Rotunda Hospital all night, with pains in her side. I dont know how she is at the moment to tell you the truth."
This comes in the same week as Pat Rossiter, the father of 14 year old Brian who died in police custody in 2002, was found not guilty of a Public Order charge. The judge castigated the gardaí involved in this case.
It looks like the gardaí are under serious pressure and are determined to try and intimidate anybody who stands up for themselves or their families.
The Wheelock family need your support, now more than ever. There will be a protest outside Store Street Garda Station on the 3rd of June. Please Support the Family's Campaign for Justice. People will be meeting up at the church on Sean McDermott Street at midday. For more information please check the event on the Indymedia event calendar. The Moloney Family, who have been working together with the Wheelocks, will be holding a protest outside Bertie Ahern's constituency office "St Luke's" on the Drumcondra Road this Saturday at 11am, for more info click here.