Friday 20 July 2018

Safety audit urged of riverside student apartments after accidental drowning of man (20)

Daniel Hurley (Image via An Garda Siochana)
Daniel Hurley (Image via An Garda Siochana)
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A SAFETY audit has been urged of riverside student buildings after the accidental drowning of a 20 year old who had stopped to go to the toilet on his way home from a night out.

A Cork coroners inquest recorded a verdict of accident death for Daniel Hurley (20) who vanished while on his way home from a night out with friends in Cork city centre on September 24 last.

Mr Hurley, a student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and from Carrogrohane, Co Cork, had apparently stopped near the Victoria Lodge area to urinate shortly after 2am when it is believed he fell into a tributary of the River Lee by an 80m stretch of riverbank without fencing.

His disappearance sparked a major search operation last September which involved mobile phone tracing technology, public appeals and a trawl of hours of CCTV security camera footage.

Eventually, Gardaí spotted Mr Hurley on CCTV footage from the Victoria Lodge student complex.

There was no trace of the young man subsequently leaving the complex.

His body was found following a search of the nearby river.

Coroner Philip Comyn was told by Sgt Jason Lynch that it is believed Mr Hurley went into an area of overgrowth adjacent to the river to urinate.

Tragically, the river bank was unprotected and had no fencing for a stretch of 80m.

Gardaí said the area was dark and tricky underfoot even in daylight.

Mallow Search and Rescue (MSAR) teams subsequently found the student's body on September 28 in three metres of water.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted a post mortem examination and ruled that the student died from drowning.

There were no marks whatsoever found on his body.

The Hurley family, through their solicitor, requested that a full safety review now be conducted of the Victoria Lodge area and, in particular, the stretch of riverbank which lacks secure fencing.

Mr Comyn was told the family do not want anyone else to suffer their tragic loss.

The family paid tribute to the Gardaí, search volunteers and MSAR for their determined efforts to locate the young man.

The inquest confirmed a verdict of accidental death and recommended that a full safety review, as requested by the Hurley family, now take place.

Mr Hurley is survived by his parents, sister and brother.

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