Saturday 21 October 2017

DJ whose death was linked to controversial Nek Nomination died of alcohol and cocaine toxicity - inquest

Ross Cummins
Ross Cummins
Ross Cummins, who was found dead on Saturday, pictured here with his girlfriend Niamh Murphy.

Gareth Naughton

A man whose death has been linked to the controversial Nek Nomination social media craze died as a result of alcohol and cocaine toxicity.

Ross Cummins (22), a DJ from Stella Gardens, Irishtown in Dublin 4 was found dead at a house on Macken Street in Dublin city centre on February 1 last year.

He is believed to have been attending a party at the Macken Street address where he allegedly downed a pint of whiskey in a Nek Nomination challenge.

His was one of a number of deaths linked to the Nek Nomination challenge which briefly became popular on social media sites including Facebook early last year. Participants were challenged to film themselves downing an alcoholic drink before nominating someone else.

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Dublin Coroner’s Court heard at the opening and adjournment of the inquest into his death that a garda investigation into the incident is nearing completion with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The court heard that Mr Cummins was identified to gardaí at Macken Street by his father Robert Cummins, who was present to give evidence. The post-mortem was carried out at the Dublin City Mortuary in Marino by Professor Eamon Leen. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the family his preliminary report gives the cause of death as "cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to ethanol (alcohol) and cocaine toxicity".

Inspector Liam Geraghty of Pearse Street Garda Station told the coroner the matter is “still under investigation” and will be the subject of a file to the DPP which is “very close to being finalised”. He requested that the inquest be adjourned for six months to allow gardaí complete their investigation.

When asked by Dr Farrell if the garda inquiries relate to “a supply issue”, Inspector Geraghty replied: “that is one element that is being investigated”.

Dr Farrell told the family he is aware of some of the circumstances but cannot make any comment while the garda investigation is ongoing. He adjourned the inquest to August 11 for an update on their progress.

On the same night as Mr Cummins' death, Jonny Byrne (19) from Leighlinbridge, Carlow died when he went into the river shortly after taking part in a Nek Nomination challenge. Following his death, Mr Byrne’s family made several public appeals for people to stop participating in the challenge.

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