Man died at home of Limerick priest at Christmas

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Fr Michael Noonan PP, had offered Mr Costelloe a room at his home on a night by night basis
AN open verdict was recorded following an inquest into the death of a homeless man who died after seeking refuge at home of a city priest - just three days before Christmas.

AN open verdict was recorded following an inquest into the death of a homeless man who died after seeking refuge at home of a city priest - just three days before Christmas.

Limerick Coroner’s Court was told gardai were alerted to the sudden death of 41-year-0ld Michael Costelloe at the Presbytery in Raheen at around 9.30am on December 22, last.

Local parish priest, Fr Michael Noonan, the inquest heard, had known Mr Costelloe, who was aged 41, for a number of years prior to his death.

He said he used to come to him for help on occasion and that he had offered him a room at the house on a “night by night” basis.

Fr Noonan told investigating gardai that Mr Costelloe, who was originally from Cork, had arrived at the Presbytery two days before he died and that he had gone to bed at around 10.30pm the previous night.

He described how he entered his room at around 8.45am and discovered his body after there was no answer when he knocked on the bedroom door.

Having initially called University Hospital Limerick, Fr Noonan then called gardai and raised the alarm.

Mr Costelloe’s body was later removed from the Presbytery to UHL where a post mortem was conducted.

Toxicology tests confirmed the presence of several drugs including Alprazolam, Diazepam, Methadone extract and Morphine Mr Costelloe’s system.

No alcohol was detected.

Coroner, Dr Timothy Casey said the post mortem showed the he had died as a result of acute cardio-respiratory failure secondary to acute Pulmonary edema.

This, he explained, meant that death was due to a large quantity of fluid in Mr Costelloe’s lungs combined with the drugs found in his system.

A open verdict was recorded.