Woman's death still a mystery
A coroner has told the family of a woman who was found dying on a roadside that he cannot provide them with an explanation of what happened.
Despite the efforts of garda accident scene investigators and the state pathologist, mystery still surrounds the death of Breda Ryan (20).
The mother-of-one was discovered in an unconscious state in the middle of the Drogheda to Slane road on the morning of July 28, 2006. She died nine days later in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.
Dublin Coroner's Court heard yesterday that Ms Ryan died from a head injury she sustained but there was no evidence to suggest she had been hit by a vehicle or that she had been assaulted. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned an open verdict on the death.
The court heard that Ms Ryan was last seen walking alone in Drogheda at 4.46am. Witnesses told the court she had been at a house party that evening but had left sometime after four o'clock.
About one hour after she was last seen alive, taxi-driver Paul Lane came across Ms Ryan lying on a steep and twisting section of the Drogheda to Slane road. Mr Lane told the court there was a gash on the side of her head and she was unconscious.
A second motorist who came upon the scene said there was a strong smell of alcohol from Ms Ryan.
A forensic collision investigator for the garda told the court he was satisfied that no vehicle either collided or brushed against Ms Ryan.
Gardai said there was no evidence to suggest Ms Ryan was pushed or jumped from a vehicle or that she had been brought to the spot where she was found.