Limerick Coroner’s Court hears alcohol abuse was a factor in two sudden deaths

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Both inquests took place at Limerick Coroner’s Court on Catherine Street

Both inquests took place at Limerick Coroner’s Court on Catherine Street

LIMERICK Coroner’s Court has heard that heavy alcohol consumption was a factor in the deaths of two men who died in separate incidents earlier this year.

In one case, a 51-year-old man, died at a hostel in the city – a number of months after he had been evicted from his home.

Staff at the hostel told his inquest they became concerned for his wellbeing after he failed to answer a room-call.

After gaining access to the man’s room, his body was found on the floor between the bed and the door.

Garda Fergal Coffey said the man’s room was cluttered with clothes and other personal belongings and that he observed 12 empty packets of paracetamol “scattered around the room”.

Consultant Pathologist Terézia László said while no alcohol was found in the man’s system, there was evidence of historic acohol abuse.

She said a number of underlying health issues were identified and that a number of them were lethal conditions.

She said the concentration of paracetamol was in the toxic range and that cause of death was circulatory collapse and shock.

In a separate case, evidence was heard that a man died after vomiting associated with heavy drinking resulted in a tear developing in his oesophagus.

The 41-year-old was found unresponsive at his home and was pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick a short time later.

A post mortem showed the man had consumed toxic levels of alcohol prior to his death and died as a result of internal bleeding.

Dr László said the man’s heavy drinking was a contributory factor in his death. “He may not have been vomiting so severely without alcohol,” she said, adding there was also evidence of liver damage due to alcohol abuse

Having considered the evidence, coroner John McNamara said it was obvious the man had not intended dying on the day he passed away.

In the circumstances, he recorded a verdict of misadventure.