Thursday 29 September 2016

'He was a beautiful young man' - RTE producer died in fall down stairs after night out

Louise Roseingrave

Published 14/06/2016 | 16:02

Edward Prendergast Photo: Twitter
Edward Prendergast Photo: Twitter

A 27 year old man sustained fatal head injuries in a fall down stairs after a night out with friends, an inquest heard.

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Edward Prendergast, from Selskar Road in Skerries, Dublin but living at Blackhall Green, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7 fell down 12 steps at his home around 4.10am on October 19 2014. He was rushed to the Mater Hospital but died the following day, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

Described as a ‘beautiful young man, highly educated and a fantastic worker’ Mr Prendergast worked as a producer on RTE’s ‘the Business Show.’

The young man’s father, William Prendergast said he had many talents and had worked hard following his education at Dublin City University and NUI Maynooth.

“He did drink too much on the night,” Mr Prendergast said, adding that he hoped his son’s death might help prevent a similar tragedy. The family donated their son's organs in the wake of his death.

Friend of the deceased Carl Reynolds said he called to Mr Prendergast’s home at Arbour Hill and the pair began drinking between 8pm and 9pm on October 19 2014. They took a taxi to the Globe bar on Georges Street around midnight. They met other friends and Mr Reynolds left around 2am.

“He was in good humour when I left, he was drunk but coherent,” Mr Reynolds said.

Suzanne Brennan was a flatmate of Mr Prendergast. She and her boyfriend arrived home around 3.30am and Mr Prendergast followed shortly after, she told the court.

“His speech was quite slurred but he was chatting away. He was quite drunk,” she said.

The pair went out the front door to smoke a cigarette and Miss Brennan followed her flatmate back into the house. He fell as he walked down a two-part carpeted stairwell with two steps down followed by a turn and a further 12 steps.

“I heard a series of bangs and saw Ed lying at the bottom of the stairs,” she said. “When I called his name there was no answer.” An ambulance arrived at 4.25am and Mr Prendergast was rushed to the Mater Hospital. CT scans showed he suffered a skull fracture, according to a report from Consultant Surgeon at the Mater Hospital Mr Maurice Stokes. Doctors found there was no surgical intervention they could make to improve matters. Mr Prendergast’s parents stayed with him in the Intensive Care Unit until he passed away the following day, October 20.

The cause of death was traumatic injury to the brain, due to a fall down stairs, due to the toxic effects of alcohol, according to pathologist Dr Megan Finan. A toxicology screening revealed a blood alcohol level of 285 mg per cent.

“It is a high level of alcohol, if one isn’t used to drinking anything over 300 mg per cent can be fatal. Certainly it is sufficiently high to affect coordination and balance,” Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said, returning a verdict of death by misadventure.

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