Garda Ombudsman to probe death in custody
THE Garda Ombudsman has opened an investigation into the death of a father of three in custody at the weekend.
Johnny Nevin (39), of Templemore, Co Tipperary, died several hours after being taken into custody on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Nevin's family are deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding his death and will not rest until the full truth is revealed, a spokesman for the family said last night.
George Webster, a local man who knew Mr Nevin for a number of years said: "They are not going to let this go."
Mr Webster said that the dead man had suffered from mental illness and had been hospitalised on a number of occasions in the past.
On Saturday, Mr Nevin's family called the gardai after he became extremely agitated. Mr Webster added that Mr Nevin's family wanted him taken to hospital. The family allege that a special team from Limerick, armed with stun guns, arrived at the family home and manhandled Mr Nevin into a squad car.
"It was a big scene over nothing," Mr Webster said.
The family has claimed that Mr Nevin received an injury to his forehead before he was taken away.
A statement from the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) confirmed that Mr Nevin was taken into custody and later became unwell at Templemore garda station. He was taken by ambulance to Nenagh Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The statement confirmed that the GSOC had opened an investigation into Mr Nevin's death.
State pathologist Marie Cassidy conducted a post-mortem examination at the Mid-West Regional Hospital, Limerick, yesterday afternoon. The cause of death has not yet been released.
Mr Webster said yesterday: "They should not have taken him to a garda station. It's an awful thing. He was a little bit disturbed but if they had taken him to hospital, he would have been ok."
Mr Nevin was the second of five children. His parents are Johnny and Winnie Nevin, from Urlingford. He is also survived by his brothers Hughie and Pat, and his sisters Bernadette and Teresa.
Mr Webster said the family was badly shocked and that his mother was particularly distraught.