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Inquests not expected to resume before June


INQUEST ON HOLD Coroner for Mayo, Patrick O'Connor.

Anton McNulty

Mayo’s inquests backlog is expected to rise as the coroner’s court in the county is not expected to resume until later in the summer.
The holding of inquests in the Coronial District of Mayo was suspended at the start of March in the interest of public health and safety following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ireland.
Coroner for Mayo, Patrick O’Connor had pencilled in holding four inquests in Castlebar Courthouse on Monday, April 27, but he confirmed to The Mayo News that they will now not go ahead. He added that he would be guided by government advice on when it will be safe to resume inquests, adding that he does not expect to hold any before June.
“I will not be bringing people together in a room unnecessarily. While people would like to have an inquest dealt with, at the end of the day, in the overall context, inquests are not now the most important thing to be dealt with,” he said.
Mr O’Connor said all the other coronial services in his office continue as normal, and deaths continue to be referred to his office. He said that if it is not safe to resume inquests before the summer, he expects there to be a backlog of cases to be dealt with later in the year.
While the deaths of persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 must be reported to the district coroner, Mr O’Connor said that an inquest would not be necessary, as the death would be one of natural causes.