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Deaths prompts call for neighbours to check on older people

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APPEALCoroner for Mayo Patrick O’Connor.

Anton McNulty


A coroner in Mayo has called on neighbours to keep a close eye on elderly people or those living alone, particularly over the winter months.
Mr Pat O’Connor made the comment following an inquest held in Castlebar yesterday (Monday) in which a man living alone were found dead by a neighbour.
Mr O’Connor said that with the long dark evenings setting in, it was imperative that neighbours called at least twice a day to check onthe condition of people living alone.
“It is important that regular checks are kept on those living by themselves. It will not stop some passing away but at this time of the year it is important that people visit their neighbours living alone. It is not just a nosey neighbour syndrome, it is community concern. It is a trait in Irish society and people must not forget that,” he said.
The coroner was speaking following the inquest of Patrick Kerrigan of Bohea, Liscarney, Westport, who died from deep vein thrombosis in March 2017.
The 76-year-old widower was found dead lying on the kitchen floor by his nephew, Thomas O’Brien, on March 19. Mr O’Brien said his sheep dog was circling around him and whining and it looked like he was there for a few days.
The inquest heard he was last seen on March 16 by hackney driver, Niall Farren, who collected messages for him in Westport. Mr Farren said he usually came with him but on this occasion he was not fit to go in, as he was struggling with his asthma.
Dr Tomas Nemeth explained that the cause of death was pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis. Mr O’Connor recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.
The Coroner’s Court also heard the inquest of Kevin Martin of Carrowaneeragh, Partry, who was found dead in his home on June 13, 2017 by his neighbour.
Mr Martin (58) was last seen alive on May 30, 2017 by a friend, Michael Golden, who called to his house and said he did not look well.
His neighbour, Michael Kelly, called to the house on June 13 to put out the bins. The front door was open and he found Mr Martin lying in front of the fire.
The post mortem found he died from a heart attack but Dr Fadel Bennani, consultant pathologist, said he had not been dead for long and the approximate date of death was June 13.

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