Inquest told Limerick man died after eating firelighters


Inquest told Limerick man died after eating firelighters

The inquest was held at Limerick Courthouse


A VERDICT of misadventure was recorded following the inquest of a St Mary’s Park man who ate firelighters following a day-long drinking binge.

The body of Christopher Kelly (50), who was originally from St Munchin’s Street was found in the sitting room of a house in Kennedy Park on the morning of March 31, last.

Coroner John McNamara was told Mr Kelly had been street drinking with a number of friends the previous day before they headed to the house at around 9.30pm.

A friend of Mr Kelly’s told the inquest that he consumed around a dozen “Up John 90s” during the night and that he also “necked” a bottle of vodka.

The witness said when he went to bed at around 1am, Mr Kelly was “sitting on the floor out of it”.

He said he told him he was starving and that when he came back downstairs around an hour later he (Mr Kelly) was “lying on his side eating firelighters”.

The witness told the court he he gave the deceased some pretsels before returning to bed.

Mr Kelly, he said, was unresponsive when he got up sometime around 9am.

Dr Vourneen Healy said “a gritty white material” consistent with firelighters was found in the deceased man’s mouth during  a post mortem examination.

A toxicology report, she said, showed levels of Alprazolam (Xanax) within the toxic range and she said the level of alcohol in his system was also “quite toxic”.

Death, she said, was due to cardiorespiratory failure secondary to the toxic levels of drugs and alcohol in Mr Kelly’s system.

When asked by relatives of Mr Kelly if he died peacefully, she said he would have been unconscious before he died.

Noting garda evidence that there was no evidence of foul play, Mr McNamara said a verdict of misadventure was appropriate in the circumstances.

He said Mr Kelly did not intend to die and that his death was an “unexpected consequence” of his actions.

“He consumed too much alcohol with a mixture of drugs,” he explained.

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