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The Bridewell Garda Station. More than €60,000 was spent on medical services for people in custody so far this year. Picture: Richard Mills.
The Bridewell Garda Station. More than €60,000 was spent on medical services for people in custody so far this year. Picture: Richard Mills.

€60k spend on people in custody at Cork garda stations

MORE than €60,500 has been spent by An Garda Síochana on medical services for people in custody in Cork city in the first seven months of this year.

Figures provided by An Garda Siochana through the Freedom of Information Act showed that doctors’ fees totalled just over €100,000 a year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In Cork county, doctors were paid €45,521 last year. Up to the end of July, the amount paid in doctors fees was €34,341. The amount paid in north and east Cork up to the end of July was €22,849 — surpassing the €22,677 paid for the entire 12 months of last year.

GP services are provided by local GP practices and SouthDoc, depending on the time of the call out.

Garda sources outline that GP services are typically required when a person is being questioned about a crime and when a suspension of questioning is being requested for a rest, or in cases where somebody is arrested for drink driving.

A garda spokesman said that the basic rate for the attendance of a GP between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, is €87.02. The basic rate for out of hours is €139.19.

In a situation where more than one examination is conducted during the same visit to a station, there is an additional fee of €52.19 for ordinary working hours or €95.72 for out of hours.

Meanwhile, €19,605 was paid last year for meals and clothing for people in custody in garda stations throughout the city and county.

Legally, a suspect is entitled to be provided with “such meals as are necessary and, in case, at least two light meals and one main meal in any 24-hour period”, under the Criminal Justice Act.

And in cases where a person’s clothing has to be retained as evidence for a case, replacement clothing must be provided.

These are typically purchased in high street shops and include tracksuit pants, t-shirts, underwear and socks, as well as shoes.