Friday 27 April 2018

Coroner: No cause of death for Elaine O’Hara

The body of Elaine O'Hara was found in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains (Garda/PA)
The body of Elaine O'Hara was found in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains (Garda/PA)

THERE is no cause of death for childcare worker Elaine O’Hara, the Dublin coroner told her family today.

Speaking at the opening of the inquest into her death, coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that the post-mortem report by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis has given the cause of death as “undetermined”.

Ms O’Hara (36) from Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, had been missing for more than a year when her partial remains were found by a hillwalker on Killakee mountain, Rathfarnham, on September 13. The remains were in a decomposed state.

At the opening of the inquest into her death, the court heard that identification was carried out by Dr Mary Clarke, forensic odontologist. Dr Farrell said that he has received an extensive report from Dr Clarke and she is in no doubt that the remains are those of Ms O’Hara. 

Detective Inspector Brian Duffy of Blackrock Garda Station requested copies of the post-mortem and forensic odontology report.

The inquest was adjourned sine die – or without assigning a further date - until the outcome of criminal proceedings is known.

Ms O’Hara’s father Frank O’Hara was present in court along with his daughter and son-in-law. Mr O'Hara only spoke to tell the coroner that his daughter was 36 years old when she went missing and to ask what the date of death would be. Dr Farrell said that death was pronounced on September 14 following the discovery of Ms O'Hara's remains.

The coroner said that he was unable to comment pending the outcome of criminal proceedings but he extended “very deepest sympathy and condolences” to the family on behalf of the community.

The man charged with her murder, architect Graham Dwyer, was refused bail at a High Court hearing yesterday. The 41-year-old father of two from Kerrymount Close, Foxrock in south Dublin has been charged with murdering Ms O’Hara at an unknown place in Co Dublin on August 22 last year. He has been on remand at Cloverhill Prison since being charged on October 18. Mr Dwyer told gardaí he was “not guilty” when charged.

His father had offered an independent surety of €25,000 and Mr Dwyer had agreed to reside at an address in Bandon in his native Cork, however, his application for bail was opposed by the State. Mr Justice Paul Butler refused bail.

Gareth Naughton

Irish Independent

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