AS he extended sympathy to the partner and family of a 35-year-old man who took his own life on June 8 of last year, Kilkenny County Coroner Tim Kiely said that death by suicide had become all too prevalent in modern Ireland.
Dr Maurice Murphy told the inquest of the late Paul O’Brien, Cotterstown, Windgap that a post mortem examination carried out at Waterford Regional Hospital showed the deceased had ligature marking on his neck and no other external abnormalities. He suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain or celebral hypoxia secondary to hanging.
Mr O’Brien’s partner of nine years, Trisha Molloy, in her deposition, said he had been working nearby and when she called out to him to come inside, sometime between 6.30 and 6.45pm, she couldn’t find him.
“He’d usually be in and out of the house. Paul’s jeep was parked in the yard. I rang his mobile phone twenty times and it went straight to voicemail.” It was out of character for him not to respond and as she became increasingly worried for his welfare, she contacted her brother Dermot for assistance at around 8.30pm. He arrived and went looking for Paul and found him in the woods. “When Dermot returned, he said it was bad news.”
Dermot Molloy said he received a phone call from his sister after Paul hadn’t come back from doing his jobs. He spotted the jeep and the dogs were in the yard. He went to the field where the horses were kept, proceeded to a wooded area and when he looked high up into the trees he saw Paul. A ladder was lying on the ground. He called 999, the Gardaí and he formally identified the deceased to Garda O’Keeffe.
Garda Joe O’Keeffe said they received a report of a sudden death and how Paul O’Brien could not be located. He was found 10 feet up in a tree and with the aid of a teleporter the body was taken down and a rope removed from the neck area. Last rites were given at the scene.
Mr Kiely returned a verdict of death by suicide, celebral hypoxia, and advising that there are supports available for bereaved families, he extended sympathy to the deceased’s partner and family.
If you have been affected by any of these stories please contact
- HSE bereavement counselling service (GP referral) can be contacted at (051) 874013. The HSE Self Harm Intervention Counselling Service (SHIP) is available at (051) 359085.
- Kilkenny Bereavement Support Tel: 056-7756538. www.kilkennybereavementsupport.com
- Samaritans, Kilkenny. Tel: 056-7765554 / 7765750.