A KILMAINE man who was found dead in a shallow river running through his land died from drowning, the inquest into his death heard.
Brendan Murphy (39) of Kilkerrin, Kilmaine, was found dead in the river, which was just 12 inches deep, by his cousin on Monday, January 31, last, approximately two days after he was last seen. The inquest into his death heard that there was no water coming into his house, and that he may have been going to the stream to wash himself.
Garda Karol Murray told the inquest that there was a steep embankment on either side of the river. He said that when he arrived at the scene, Mr Murphy was lying face down in the river. The crime unit was called and the body was examined, but no visible signs of injury were found. Garda Brendan Keane said that it was possible that Mr Murphy slipped into the river.
Seán Murphy, nephew of the deceased man, said he had collected him from Headford on Friday, January 28, and he had been talking of going to Galway to try to get work. Seán Murphy said he went back to the house the following day but Brendan Murphy wasn’t in the house that day, or the next day, Sunday. He said he had presumed Brendan Murphy had ‘gone somewhere’.
Tom Burke, first cousin of the deceased explained that he went into Mr Murphy’s yard at 9am on January 31 with a tractor and that as he was driving along he saw the deceased lying face down in the stream. He said he could see he was dead, and the gardaí were called.
Dr Fadel Bennani, consultant pathologist said that there was no trauma on Mr Murphy’s body and results showed he was negative for alcohol and drugs. He said the cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning.
John O’Dwyer, Coronor for south Mayo said there was no conclusive evidence of what had happened to Mr Murphy, and he recorded an open verdict. He also expressed sympathy to his family.