Wednesday 21 March 2018

Elaine O'Hara's family told cause of death is still 'undetermined'

Elaine O'Hara: went missing in August of last year
Elaine O'Hara: went missing in August of last year

Gareth Naughton

THE family of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara has been told the cause of her death remains "undetermined" despite extensive post-mortem examinations.

Speaking at the opening of the inquest into her death, Dublin Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told how a forensic odontologist had been used to confirm the heavily decomposed remains found were those of Ms O'Hara (36).

Ms O'Hara, 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.

Dr Farrell told her family that a post-mortem report by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis had given the cause of death as "undetermined".

The Coroner's Court heard that identification was carried out by Dr Mary Clarke, a forensic odontologist. Dr Farrell confirmed an extensive report from Dr Clarke stated she was left in no doubt that the remains were those of Ms O'Hara.

Ms O'Hara's father, Frank, 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 when she went missing.

Her father, who had endured a lengthy wait for news of his missing daughter, asked what date would be officially recorded as the date on which she had died.

Dr Farrell stated that death was pronounced on September 14 following the discovery of Ms O'Hara's remains.

Detective Inspector Brian Duffy of Blackrock garda station requested copies of the post-mortem and forensic odontology reports.

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

Dr Farrell said that he was unable to comment pending the outcome of criminal proceedings but he extended "very deepest sympathy and condolences" to the family.


The man charged with her murder, architect Graham Dwyer, was refused bail at a High Court hearing.

The 41-year-old father of two, from Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, in Dublin, has been charged with murdering Ms O'Hara on August 22 last year.

He has been on remand at Cloverhill Prison since being charged on October 18. Mr Dwyer told gardai 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, Mr Justice Paul Butler refused bail.

Irish Independent

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