Tragic mum 'begged for heating'
Hypothermia victim complained to council about cold, inquest told
Published 25/02/2011 | 05:00
FAMILY and friends of a woman who died from hypothermia said her flat was without heating for months before her death.
Rachel Peavoy (30), a single mother of two boys from Shangan Road, Ballymun, Co Dublin, was found dead from hypothermia in her flat on January 11, 2010.
At an inquest at Dublin City Coroner's Court yesterday Ms Peavoy's sister, cousin and close friends described the flat as freezing and said she had complained to the city council several times without success.
Linda McLoughlin, a close friend, lived in the same flat complex.
She said there was always difficulty with heating in the flats and told the court that Ms Peavoy made "numerous complaints" about the heating. The dead woman had said she "wasn't going to give up" until her pleas were heard.
Michelle Quigley, a friend for 25 years, told how she stayed the night in the flat on November 20, 2009.
She said it was bitterly cold outside and she had to sleep fully clothed under two duvets to keep warm.
She described Ms Peavoy as caring. "She always looked after everyone else first."
Ms Peavoy's sister, Leontia, said the flat was so cold when she visited she never took off her coat.
When she stayed in the flat on Christmas Eve 2009 she said the heating was not on.
The only heating Ms Peavoy had was from two heaters, one convection and one halogen.
She would use one to heat up her sons' bedroom and one for the other rooms.
December 2009 was the coldest for almost 30 years, reaching -10C in places.
In the latter part of the month there was snow, freezing fog and severe frost.
The first 10 days of January were exceptionally cold and the month was the coldest since 1963 in the Dublin area.
Ms Peavoy last spoke to her mother, Celine, the day before she was found dead.
She asked her mother to mind her sons, Leon and Warren, and said that she was turning her phone off because she couldn't sleep.
The next day, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact Ms Peavoy, her brother Leon Peavoy and friend Jacqueline Johnston let themselves into her flat.
Ms Johnston found the body of her friend in the main bedroom.
Ms Peavoy's sister and her cousin Sandra Leonard went back to Ms Peavoy's apartment on 14 January, just three days after her death to pick up some things.
They both told the court the heating was on in the flat at that time.
The case was adjourned until Thursday, March 24, in order to hear further statements about the condition of Ms Peavoy's flat.