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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Murdered man is brother of teen found dead in garda cell

Brian Rossier, who died while in garda custody in 2002
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

THE man shot dead at his home this morning has been named as Shane Rossiter (30), whose brother Brian died after being found unconscious in a cell at Clonmel garda station ten years ago.

Brian Rossiter was 14 years old.

He had been arrested by gardai for alleged public order offences.

A statutory inquiry into his death was set up in 2005 and its findings have never been published in full.

But four years ago the Rossiter family received compensation after a case they brought against the State was settled without liability being admitted.

Gardai denied the boy had been assaulted.

This morning his brother Shane was hit by a shotgun blast in the stomach when two men called to his front door in Golden, Co Tipperary, around 6.45am.

Two women and a male friend were in the house at the time.

His friend had moved to Golden from his home in Crumlin, Dublin, a couple of weeks ago when he received a death threat shortly after the gangland murder of his associate, Declan O’Reilly who was killed in front of his son at South Circular Road.

Gardai are following a number of lines of inquiry this afternoon and are examining CCTV footage taken from a camera near the scene of the latest gangland-related murder.

Gardai appealed for any information on the movements of a black coloured car, or anyone acting suspiciously in the area overnight, to come forward.

The gun attack happened on Church Lane, yards from the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in the scenic village, which has a population of around 300.

Parish priest, Fr Pat O'Gorman, revealed he said morning mass for just one parishioner as the laneway was sealed off for a forensic examination.

"Naturally enough it was a shock to hear that this happened in an area like this," he said.

"People were inquisitive about what was going on, and shocked."

Rossiter was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, where he was pronounced dead.

Golden-based Councillor Michael Fitzgerald said no one in the area knew the victim or his associate, who escaped injury in the yellow end terrace house.

"It is tragic to think this type of gun attack, that we usually associate with the likes of Dublin or Limerick, is coming so close to our own homes," said the chairman of South Tipperary County Council.

"That makes it all the more frightening to people.

"People are genuinely scared and worried about that type of activity taking place so near, in such a local, rural, quiet community.

"These things just don't happen in a place like this.

"There is a great sense of shock among everyone at the moment, and we are feeling for the family of this man because there is a father and mother who I am sure are grieving heavily."

The victim's young brother, Brian, died two days after he was found unconscious in a cell at Clonmel Garda station on the morning of September 11, 2002.

The teen had been arrested by gardai the previous night for an alleged public order offence.

A probe into his death, set up in September 2005, found that while his arrest was lawful, his detention was unlawful.

It stated while there was no evidence to suggest an assault in custody, it hit out at the force for not properly investigating all the circumstances surrounding the death.

It concluded that witnesses who alleged they saw the teenager being beaten were either deliberately untruthful, or unreliable.

While the report exonerated any garda role in the death of the young boy, it did criticise officers for failing to observe certain custody procedures.

In particular the time at which the teenager was read his rights was not accurately recorded.

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