Thursday 29 September 2016

Elderly man (71) lay dead 'for up to a week' before he was found, court hears

Louise Roseingrave

Published 15/12/2015 | 17:42

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the court it was likely Mr Doyle's heath had been 'deteriorating'
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the court it was likely Mr Doyle's heath had been 'deteriorating'

AN ELDERLY resident living in sheltered accommodation run by Dublin City Council may have lay dead for up to a week before he was found.

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The body of Frank Doyle (71) was discovered by Gardaí on July 30 2014 in a sparely furnished flat at the Thomas Clarke House complex on Ballybough Road in North Dublin.

He was pronounced dead at the scene though Dublin Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday that it was likely the 71-year-old had “died up to a week prior to the date of death.”

“The deceased suffered from hemorrhagic gastritis and severe fatty change and at some stage he banged his head as well, he has an acute subdural hemorrhage, this could have been contemporaneous with his collapse,” Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said.

“I’m not able to say precisely the sequence of events but I think Mr Doyle’s health was deteriorating,” he added.

Dr Farrell returned a narrative verdict setting out the circumstances of Mr Doyle’s death and recorded that he had died up to a week prior to the date of death. 

The court heard that Mr Doyle’s health deteriorated rapidly after he lost his wife in December 2013.

Afterwards he became reclusive and rarely answered the door.

In the weeks before his death, the court was told that the 71-year-old shouted out the window to a visiting public health nurse to “go away”.

Concerned about Mr Doyle, who had not been seen for a number of days prior to the discovery of his body, Dublin City Council liaison officer Laura Doran called to his home but received no answer when she knocked on his door.

Spying a key in the lock and worried by the amount of uncollected post outside Mr Doyle’s home, she dialled 999 and requested aid.

The Dublin Fire Brigade broke through the door to gain access to the flat, wherein Gardaí came across Mr Doyle’s body.

“On entering the apartment we found a male lying on the floor of the living room and there were visible signs of death,” Garda Brendan Dunne of Mountjoy Garda Station told the court.

Mr Doyle’s apartment was bare aside from some empty whiskey bottles, he continued.

“[We] found very little food in the apartment, which was largely devoid of personal belongings.”

Dublin City Council told Independent.ie that it “does not comment on individual cases” before adding “we do not feel that a response [to this incident] would be helpful at this time."

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