Margot's family ask how many more murders were missed?
The family of Margot Seery has questioned how many murders have gone undetected after an inquest last week heard how a doctor, gardai and a pathologist had failed to notice that the 48-year-old mother had been strangled.
They also question how her organs came to be missing from her body when she was exhumed and why aspects of the original post mortem report were incorrect.
Pa Guinane, Margot Seery's brother, told the Sunday Independent: "One of the questions we asked at the inquest was how the murder was missed by gardai, the doctor and the pathologist. How many more murders might have been missed? Whatever answer we get is not going to bring Margot back," he said, but it was "important" to her family, particularly to Margot's daughter, Niamh, who now lives in Australia.
Margot Seery was found dead in her flat on Kenilworth Square, Dublin in 1994. Gardai at the time believed that Margot was alone when she died and a Garda doctor had no suspicions. The inquest found that she choked on her own vomit following a night out with her friend.
But 20 years later, a clerk called Howard Kelly walked into Rathmines Garda Station to confess to strangling her. Kelly told gardai that he and his friend met Margot and her friend on their way home, he was drunk, and Margot took him to her flat to make tea.
When Gardai exhumed Margot's body, the grim discovery that Margot's organs were missing struck a chord with her relatives. Family members who prepared her body for burial recalled last week how empty and floppy Margot's body seemed as they attempted to position her in her casket.
"We were trying to make her look as nice as we could for her mum," said one relative. "I found it hard to get her straight (in her casket) and she kept falling over. And when we now that she had an empty cavity ... it was not pleasant. It was quite traumatic really."
Following his conviction for murder in November last year, a second inquest into Margot's death was held to amend the cause of her death from choking to murder.
The inquest heard from a senior garda that the original pathologist is a retired consultant at a teaching hospital. The inquest heard he could not explain why the post mortem report indicated that Margot's brain had been examined when it had not. The inquest also heard from the detective that "no explanation was found" for her missing organs. "I am sorry I am not able to assist on that," the coroner told the family, with whom he sympathised.
"I think the coroner should go a bit deeper," said Mr Guinane. "We really had no answers to the questions that we wanted answers to. We came away from the first inquest thinking she had choked on her vomit. We found that very hard to take at the time."
For her family, the second inquest into Margot's death has raised more questions.