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Limerick city coroner returns suicide verdicts

Suicide: The inquests were heard at Limerick Courthouse

Suicide: The inquests were heard at Limerick Courthouse

  • by David Hurley
 

The Limerick city coroner John McNamara returned verdicts of death by suicide during a number of separate inquests which were heard at the coroners court.

All of the inquests related to deaths which occurred over the past few months at various locations in the city.

After hearing garda and medical evidence in relation to each of the deaths, Mr McNamara said he was satisfied the burden of proof had been reached in order to return a verdict of death by suicide.

Addressing the families of the deceased, he said there was a presumption in law against suicide.

“Suicide cannot be presumed in law, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

He explained that factors such as whether or not a note had been left by the deceased and whether or not drugs or alcohol had been consumed were considered by him before he returned a verdict.

One of the inquests related to the death of a middle-aged man who lived alone in the Garryowen area of the city.

A neighbour of his told gardai he had “been down in himself” on the day he died and the coroner said he was satisfied a verdict of death by suicide was appropriate.

During a separate inquest, evidence was heard that gardai received a text message from a young woman indicating that she intended to commit suicide at an address on the southside of the city.

Gardai were alerted and dispatched within minutes to the address where they met the woman’s flatmate.

After making further inquiries the woman was found in an upstairs bedroom and attempts to resuscitate her proved unsuccessful.

The parents of the young woman were visibly upset in the courtroom as the details of their daughter’s death and the post mortem results were read into the record.

The coroner was told there was no alcohol or drugs present in her system and that gardai found a note near her body outlining her state of mind at the time.

In a third inquest involving a man who died from self-inflicted injuries the coroner said he was not satisfied to return a verdict of death by suicide and instead he recorded an “open” verdict.

He said this was the appropriate verdict as he was not satisfied, having heard the evidence in the case, to return a verdict of either death by suicide or death by misadventure.

 

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