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Sunday 20 January 2019

Coroner issues warning after dad-of-two killed by the same back pain patch that claimed the life of Prince

Prince he died from an overdose of fentanyl.
Prince he died from an overdose of fentanyl. Newsdesk Newsdesk

Donegal father-of-two Francis McGinley (46) died after accidentally overdosing on the same pain medication that claimed the life of singer Prince, an inquest has heard.

Mr McGinley passed away after using a fentanyl patch to alleviate lower pack pain.

The school bus driver from Milford, described as a "quiet man who loved his job and loved the craic", was found dead by his partner in their home at Lower Mount Marian on the morning of September 17, 2017.

She rang the emergency services at 10am when she found him unresponsive in bed. Attempts were made to revive him but they failed.

An examination of his body revealed a small patch on his shoulder which contained the synthetic opioid fenthanyl.

The opioid is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine and has been attributed by experts to thousands of deaths in the US.

The court heard how Mr McGinley had been suffering from severe back pain in the months leading up to his tragic death.

Donegal County Coroner Dr Denis McAuley said he hoped the case would warn people of the dangers of using unprescribed medication.

"These patches should not be used except under strict doctors orders, and even then if you are using them, respect them," he said.

He went on to say that there were three possible reasons for Mr McGinley's sudden death. These include that the fenthanyl patch was faulty, that he may have been using more patches than he was safe to do so or he managed to gain access to the oral form of the drug.

He ruled the death was as a result of misadventure.

"This was accident. But because it was an accident that involved Francis taking a decision we call it misadventure. But it was a terrible accident," he added.

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