Inquest told gas killed hotel guest
Pathologist says carbon monoxide poisoning caused hen party tragedy
Published 22/06/2011 | 05:00
A YOUNG woman attending a hen party died in her hotel room from massive levels of carbon-monoxide gas, according to a state pathologist.
Gardai are continuing to investigate the death of Miriam Reidy (35) in Kinsale, Co Cork, last January.
Ms Reidy -- a bank worker originally from Ballyhahill, Co Limerick, but resident in Tralee, Co Kerry -- was discovered unconscious in Room 113 of the Trident Hotel at lunchtime on January 9.
Subsequent tests found she had a 57pc blood saturation rate for carbon monoxide. While it can vary between individuals, any saturation level over 40pc is likely to prove fatal. Miriam was discovered in the bedroom lying alongside her sister, Patricia (37), after fellow party-goers became concerned about the welfare of the pair.
They had been part of a group of 30 friends and relatives attending a weekend party in Kinsale to mark the forthcoming wedding of their cousin, Marie Reidy.
Despite frantic efforts to revive Miriam Reidy, she was pronounced dead before she could be transferred to hospital.
A Cork Coroner's inquest into Ms Reidy's death was adjourned yesterday on the application of the gardai. Inspector Brendan Fogarty told the Bandon inquest gardai wanted the matter adjourned on the basis that a prosecution over the death remained a possibility.
"There is a criminal investigation under way. It is ongoing and it is very technical in terms of its nature," he said.
The garda file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to rule on what action, if any, will be taken.
However, gardai stressed that, given the size and complexity of the file, the DPP may require some time to reach a decision.
A prosecution in the District or Circuit Criminal Courts remains a possibility.
Ms Reidy's sister Siobhan, and Siobhan's husband Tom Barrett, attended the inquest but did not comment to the media. The Reidy family were represented by Katie O'Connell.
Mr Barrett confirmed to Coroner Frank O'Connell that he had formally identified his sister-in-law's remains to gardai on January 10.
Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster confirmed she conducted a post-mortem at Cork University Hospital.
"The cause of death in my opinion was acute carbon-monoxide poisoning," she said.
The inquest was adjourned until December 6.