Thursday 29 September 2016

Bride's father collapsed and died on her wedding day, inquest hears

Brian McDonald

Published 06/08/2015 | 14:58

The father of the bride suffered a heart attack.
The father of the bride suffered a heart attack.

A bride’s father collapsed and died on her wedding day.

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The tragedy struck the McCauley family of Co Donegal on their big day at Kilronan Castle in Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon.

For 70-year-old Sean McCauley it was a proud day as he walked his daughter Anne up the aisle—she was the first member of his family to be married.

And there were great celebrations at the reception afterwards with dancing following the wedding reception meal in Kilronan Castle.

Sean’s brother in law, Liam McGowan today recalled the moments of the tragedy as he gave evidence at the inquest of Sean McCauley of Lisahully, Ballyshannon.

The band had finished up playing and the disco had started after midnight on May 17 last.

“We were having a great day and about 1.20am the disco had started and we went to say goodbye to Sean and the family. Sean was on the dance floor with his wife and as I turned away a man behind me went to shake Sean’s hand”, Mr McGowan said.

At that moment Sean collapsed and emergency medical help was summoned.

Dr David Swan, who was a wedding guest, attended him as well as two paramedics who arrived following an emergency call for an ambulance.

The medics worked on Sean for 30 minutes, but he was unresponsive and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Consultant pathologist, Dr Caroline Brodie carried out a subsequent autopsy and told the inquest that Sean had a previous history of cardiac problems. He had suffered a heart attack.

He had a complete blockage of the right coronary artery and Dr Brodie determined the cause of death to be cardiac failure.

The inquest jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence and Roscommon Coroner, Desmond O’Connor expressed his sincere sympathy to the McCauley family.

Mr O’Connor described it as “an unfortunate and very sad start to married life” for Mr McCauley’s daughter and he hoped that the family could put it behind them in time and look forward to better days.

Mr McGowan said the family wanted to express their thanks to all who had helped on the tragic occasion. They were grateful for all the kindness and he noted in particular the attendance of three members of the staff of Kilronan Castle Hotel at Sean McCauley’s funeral.

“Given time, I’m sure the family will get over their great loss”, he said.

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