Police suspected following death of young man
Compiled from various sources
Originally published 20th November 2007
News updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
John Maloney Junior, from Crumlin in Dublin, was arrested in May 2003 but was found unconscious shortly after being released and died 11 days later in hospital. His 48-year-old father, Johnny Maloney, said the family wanted an independent inquiry because they could not believe that their son had died from a combination of drugs or alcohol. “If he was like that, he couldn’t have walked out of the police station,” he said.
He claimed the family have been subjected to a campaign of Gardaí harassment for highlighting the mysterious aspects of their son’s death. “It’s been very rough for the family over the last two years. You’re still fighting your case and there’s no time for grieving,” said Mr Maloney.
The questions the family want answered include:
- How could their son be released from custody in a healthy condition and then collapse 10 minutes later?
- Why was there no record of him signing out of the Gardaí station and no CCTV footage of him leaving?
- Why did Gardaí at Rathfarnam deny he had been in custody there when the family rang to ask the following day?
- Why was he walking in the opposite direction to where he lived and why had no-one seen him on the route?
- Was the Gardaí investigation into his death properly carried out?
John Maloney Junior was in a car with a friend in Rathfarnam at around 8am on Sunday 4th May 2003 when they were arrested for a drugs search. His friend was released from his cell at 9.35am without charge and was told John was being held over due to an outstanding warrant for driving without insurance.
At an inquest in Tallaght District Court last year, the sergeant on duty said John was released shortly afterwards and he walked out of the station “with a spring in his step”. But he was seen stumbling and falling at a nearby estate at around 9.50am by a passer-by and an ambulance was called. He died in Tallaght Hospital on 16th May when the life support machine was switched off.
The family tried to find out where their son was that weekend but claim they were told by Gardaí at Rathfarnam that he had not been in custody there. Mr Maloney’s wife, Sandra, finally learned what had happened when a radio bulletin mentioned a young man with a “Johnner” tattoo being taken unconscious to hospital.
Professor Marie Cassidy carried out the post-mortem examination on the body and gave evidence at the inquest that a minute amount of cocaine had been found in his body. There was also a large quantity of alcohol. Although she said the cause of death was possibly due to a reaction from cocaine, the jury returned an open verdict.
Independent Socialist councillor Joan Collins said the Maloney’s were an ordinary working class family who had been torn apart by the death of their son. “There’s just a lot of questions that haven’t been answered and the family are really in limbo for the last two years. First of all, the trauma of losing their son and secondly not knowing exactly what went on,” she said.
The family’s relationship with the force has been extremely poor since, with John Maloney breaking his arm in a confrontation at a Gardaí station shortly after the death. In one incident, he went to visit his son’s grave on Christmas Day 2003 and found that a Garda had placed a parking ticket on their car outside.
Since then, their home on Cashel Road in Crumlin has been raided by Gardaí searching for illegal fireworks. “They’re harassing us all the time,” said Mr Maloney.
He is now co-operating with the family of Terence Wheelock, who died in 2005, three months after he was found unconscious in a cell. Both families are collecting signatures for a petition calling for independent inquiries into the two deaths.
A Garda spokesman did not return calls to reporters seeking comment about the case.
Grieving dad gets €25,000 for assault by gardai
3 December 2012
Another death caused by Garda ‘Hospitality’
10 April 2006
Public Inquiry : John Maloney and Terence Wheelock
29 March 2006