No prison officers to face prosecution over death of restrained prisoner at Cloverhill

Ivan Rosney (37) became unwell after being restrained by a number of officers days after being committed to prison

No prison officers are to face a criminal prosecution over the death of a prisoner at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin three years ago following an incident in which he was physically restrained by prison staff.

A preliminary hearing of an inquest into the death of Ivan Rosney has been informed that the DPP had directed that no prosecution should arise from the case having reviewed a file submitted by gardaí.

Mr Rosney (37), a father of four from Ferbane, Co Offaly, died on September 28th, 2020 after becoming unwell after being restrained by several prison officers at Cloverhill Prison.

Mr Rosney, who had a history of mental health issues, had been committed to prison a few days earlier for breaching a barring order after becoming physically aggressive with his father.


Superintendent Niamh Molloy told a sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court on Tuesday that she understood the case was being reviewed after the deceased’s family had sought an explanation for the DPP’s decision that there should be no prosecution in relation to Mr Rosney’s death.

No member of Mr Rosney’s family attended the hearing.

However, the family’s solicitor, Margaret Tansey, told coroner Aisling Gannon that they had received a response from the DPP about her decision which was acknowledged and accepted.

The court heard the DPP did not expect any further appeal in the case.

However, Ms Gannon said she would adjourn the case for a month in order to allow the formal time for any appeal against the DPP’s decision to elapse.

The coroner explained that she would have to await receipt of the Garda file in relation to Mr Rosney’s death before she would be able to set a date for the full inquest.

Following an earlier brief hearing in the case at the coroner’s court last year, Ivan’s father, Des Rosney, said he was aware that gardaí had sent CCTV footage of the incident from inside Cloverhill to Scotland for analysis.

Mr Rosney said he believed that his son had been carried in a prone condition face-down “like a crucifix”.

“Being carried in that manner can place a strain on a person’s heart. Ivan was as healthy as a wild duck even though he was overweight which meant his heart would be placed under stress if he was being held face down,” said Mr Rosney.

He explained his son had never been diagnosed with a specific condition but had suffered mental health issues since his early 20s.

Ivan’s family said he had also spent time in Cloverhill before his last committal so that the prison authorities should have been aware of his mental health issues.

They claimed they had many questions which they needed to have answered.

Separate investigations into Mr Rosney’s death, like all deaths in custody, are being carried out by the Irish Prison Service, An Garda Síochána and the Inspector of Prisons, while the cause of death will be determined by the coroner.