Saturday 17 August 2019

Dad of three (27) died of bleeding on the brain after Temple Bar assault

The scene in Temple Bar, inset, Gareth O'Connor
The scene in Temple Bar, inset, Gareth O'Connor
Father of three, Gareth O'Connor
The scene in Cow’s Lane where Mr O’Connor was attacked

THE VICTIM of a violent assault in Dublin city centre died due bleeding on the brain, an inquest has heard.

Gareth O’Connor (27) of Wheatfield Close, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 died at St James' Hospital in Dublin on September 11 2015.

Father of three, Gareth O'Connor
Father of three, Gareth O'Connor

Family members gathered as an inquest into his death was opened and adjourned at Dublin Coroner's Court.

The deceased’s sister, Francesca O’Connor gave evidence of how she identified her younger brother’s body at St James’ Hospital, Dublin 8 to Garda Frank Johnson of Pierce St Garda Station.

“I have six brothers and two sisters,” she told Coroner Dr Brian Farrell. “He (Gareth) was the baby.”

Detective Inspector Sean Campbell said Mr O’Connor’s death was being treated as suspicious.

The scene in Cow’s Lane where Mr O’Connor was attacked
The scene in Cow’s Lane where Mr O’Connor was attacked

“This was a violent disorder incident. Mr O’Connor was assaulted during the course of that incident. The relationship between the violent disorder and the death is what is being investigated,” Det Insp Campbell said told the court.

He applied for an adjournment of the inquest to allow for the completion of a Garda file into the violent disorder incident to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“The file is nearing completion,” Det Insp Campbell told the inquest.

Garda Frank Johnson later identified Mr O’Connor’s body to pathology staff.

Mr O’Connor’s family heard he suffered bleeding into and onto the brain, according to a post mortem report prepared by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy. He had a toxic level of cocaine in his system at the time of his death.

Mr O’Connor suffered subarachnoid and intracranial hemorrhage, which is bleeding onto and into the brain, Coroner Dr Farrell told Mr O’Connor’s family members.

“The pathologist mentions cocaine toxicity, is that something you are aware of?” Dr Farrell asked the family. Relatives replied that they were aware of cocaine in Mr O’Connor’s system.

“We have two issues here, cocaine toxicity and hemorrhage on the surface of the brain and into the brain,” the coroner said.

The post mortem report contains information on the circumstances of Mr O’Connor’s death but this detail was not read out in court. The coroner reserved recording the official cause of death until a later date.

“I’m aware of some of the circumstances but I cannot make any comment as this matter is going to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” the coroner said. 

The inquest was adjourned until May 3 2016.

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