Limerick Coroner’s Court hears alcohol and drugs were a factor in sudden deaths

David Hurley


David Hurley

The inquests were held at Limerick Coroner’s Court

The inquests were held at Limerick Coroner’s Court

ALCOHOL or drugs were a factor in three sudden deaths which came before Limerick Coroner’s Court on Tuesday.

In each case, a verdict of misadventure was recorded by the coroner John McNamara.

One of the inquests related to the death of a woman who sustained serious head injuries when she fell down the stairs at her home in a County Limerick village last year.

The woman’s husband, who found his wife slumped on the stairs, told the court the 50-year-old was an alcoholic and had consumed a bottle of gin before going to bed.

Dr Terézia László said a post mortem showed the woman was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and that she had a very high concentration of alcohol in her system.

Cause of death, she added, was due to traumatic head injury.

Separately, a verdict of misadventure was recorded following the inquest into the death of a 44-year-old health worker whose body was recovered from the Park Canal a number of days after he had been reported missing.

A colleague of the man told gardai that he had attended a work night out at a number of pubs and clubs in the city centre on December 11, 2017 but that he had failed to come home.

Gardai were alerted and searches were carried out across the city over the following days. Gardai also tracked his movements on the night on CCTV.

The man’s body was recovered from the canal, near Pa Healy Bridge, Corbally, on December 16, 2017.

Confirming the man had died as a result of drowning, Dr László said toxicology tests showed there was a “moderate” level of alcohol in his system and that this would have interacted with prescribed medication which he was taking.

This, she said, could have caused confusion and dizziness and difficulties with concentration.

The third inquest, which was heard on Tuesday, related to the death of a young man who died at his home in Moyross in May.

A post-mortem examination found there were toxic levels of methadone in the man’s system which had contributed to his death.

When asked by the coroner, the man’s mother said he was not on a methadone programme and that she did not believe he was a heroin user.

Dr László said the 26-year-old was also suffering from a heart problem which meant he would have been in a “comatosed” state when he died.

The inquest heard the man choked as he was unable to react when he vomited while asleep.