Sunday 21 January 2018

Woman (54) died as she soaked in the bath with her book - inquest

Dublin City Coroner's Court
Dublin City Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A 54-year-old woman died as she soaked in the bath with her book, an inquest heard.

Catherine Farrelly, from  Drumcondra, in North Dublin,  died on February 16, 2015. The mum-of-four took her book upstairs to the bathroom around 7.45pm, the inquest into her death heard.

Dublin Coroner’s Court was told that her husband died in 1999 after suffering a heart attack at the ALSAA swimming pool at Dublin Airport.

The inquest heard Ms Farrelly knocked on her son’s bedroom door and asked if he wanted to use the bathroom before she ran a bath.

“She was in good overall health. She liked a few drinks. She had a few that evening but she was grand. It was nothing unusual,” her son Conor Farrelly said.

Louise Burke, a friend and neighbour, said she called around most days to see Ms Farrelly. She said she sent a text to her friend at 7.40pm and when she got no reply, called to Ms Farrelly’s house.

 “Something told me I should call around,” she said. Ms Burke said she arrived at the house at 7.55pm and looked around but could not find Ms Farrell. She  began to worry when her friend did not answer her calls. When she pushed open the bathroom door she found her friend submerged in the bath.

“She was under the water. It was quite a deep Jacuzzi-type bath. Her book was there and some cigarettes,” Ms Burke said. Emergency services were called as Ms Farrelly’s son and his girlfriend, a nurse, performed chest compressions in a bid to save her life. She was rushed to Beamount Hospital by Dublin Fire Brigade, but was later pronounced dead.

The cause of death was drowning, with elevated blood alcohol level as a contributory factor, according to a post-mortem report. There was no evidence of a heart attack or stroke, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said, returning a verdict of death by misadventure.

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