Monday 23 October 2017

Burglary suspect killed in tragic roof fall 'after he was disturbed'

The Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A 47-year-old suspected burglar found dead in the back garden of a vacant property fell from a Velux window on the roof, an inquest heard.

Gardai believe Michael Geraghty, from Michael Collins Park, Clondalkin, was intending to remove items of value from the boarded-up property.

His body was found behind a terrace of vacant houses at Station Grove, off Station Road, Clondalkin, on August 31, 2015. 

The Velux window was in a bathroom in the attic space of a two-storey house.

The houses were built in the past 10 years and were complete, but the terrace, originally planned to contain more properties, was unfinished, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

The discovery followed a spate of robberies and vandalism at the estate.

Mr Geraghty had sustained a brain injury and multiple fractures to his ribs, upper right arm and wrist in the fall.

Gardai believe he may have been “spooked” and tried to climb on to the roof to avoid detection.

Gda Kieran O’Dwyer said it was possible to stand on the cistern in the attic bathroom to climb out of the Velux window.

“It’s believed he climbed out through the skylight of number seven,” he said.

The Velux window at the neighbouring house was smashed, the court heard.

“I can only surmise he was in the property for the reason of taking items, he heard some noise that led him to believe he’d been detected in the property,” Gda O’Dwyer told the court.

A boiler had been removed from a cupboard in the kitchen and was on the counter top “ready to go”, the court heard. A live fuse box had also been removed.

Phillip Daly was with caretaker Andrew Rowe boarding up windows when the body was found.

“There was a lot of vandalism going on, kids smashing windows and things,” Mr Daly said. The previous week, he said he had seen Mr Geraghty at 2 Station Grove.

“He fell over the door and on to the ground. He walked off towards the garage. I rang the guards. It was the same guy, 100 per cent,” Mr Daly said.

Mr Rowe, who works for LT Construction, said there had been a number of break-ins.

“I’d got a call about a lot of noise at the house and one stage a lot of loud banging,” he said. He was checking around the property when he saw the body.

Mr Geraghty died due to head, chest and limb trauma consistent with a fall from a height while intoxicated on a mix of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications and methadone, the court heard.

Recording a misadventure verdict, coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said the combination of drugs had affected Mr Geraghty’s coordination.

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