Monday 24 July 2017

Family calls for clampdown on houses freely selling drugs



THE FAMILY of a 32-year-old man who died after consuming ' lethal levels' of illegal substances called for a major clampdown on houses in Dundalk where drugs are being freely sold.

An inquest was held last week into the death of Mark Ward, Seafield Lawns, who died after gardaí attempted to arrest him on the Avenue Road on June 28 2011.

Witnesses gave evidence of seeing the father of two running naked along the Avenue Road, and going into Sloane's shop, where he took a card from a stand and fled. He had blood on the side of his face from an apparent injury.

Gardaí were alerted to the man's erratic behaviour, and arrived at the scene in an attempt to arrest him.

Gda. Paul Flynn told how he had tried to talk to the man, who then took a 'clumsy swing' at him. He recalled the man was standing naked along the road, and was 'growling, screaming and roaring' and kept trying to swing at him.

Gda. Flynn said he used his pepper spray on the man twice before he fell to the ground, saying 'I can't see.' Garda Flynn said he tried to stand in front of the man in an attempt to protect his modesty.

A number of other gardaí arrived at the scene, and tried to arrest the man. However he began kicking and screaming. Gardaí began to hold his legs and arms down 'for his own safety' and he was placed into handcuffs.

However he continued to forcibly resist arrest, and gardaí struggled to contain him. A suit that is normally worn in forensic examinations was obtained from one of the patrol cars and placed around Mark's lower body.

Sgt. Eugene Collins described arriving at the scene, and witnessing the difficulty they had in making the arrest. Gda. Darren Tuffy had suggested obtaining a 'rope' or 'cord' to tie the man's legs.

Sgt Collins told the inquest he placed a bungee cord around Mark Ward's legs, but he was able to kick freely out of the cord.

Sgt. Collins also ensured an ambulance was called, as there was concern about a head injury, from the blood evident on his face.

He said that he was satisfied that the force used was 'proportionate' and added that he did not witness any gardaí placing pressure on Mark's back.

As arrest attempts continued, gardaafaí noticed that Mr. Ward was not breathing and had no pulse.

CPR was begun at the scene, and continued after the arrival of paramedics Tony Murphy and Dominic McEvoy.

Giving evidence, Tony Murphy told how resuscitation attempts continued, and a defibrillator was applied.

The paramedics asked Gda. Darren Tuffy to drive the ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, while they continued attempts to revive Mr. Ward in the back. They also requested another member of the gardaí travel in the rear of the ambulance with them to maintain 'continuity of care.'

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