Sunday 15 September 2019

Young man died following alleged one punch assault in Kerry, inquest hears

The late Stephen O'Connor
The late Stephen O'Connor

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG man died from a traumatic brain injury after a fall following an alleged one punch assault in a Kerry town centre.

A Cork coroner's inquest heard that Stephen O'Connor (32) died in Cork University Hospital (CUH) after being transferred there from University Hospital Kerry (UHK) last February.

Garda Gillian McKeown of Killarney Garda Station said that she was notified of an alleged assault on Stephen O'Connor on February 10 2019.

Garda McKeown was appointed the family liaison officer following the alleged incident in the Square in Killorglin, Co Kerry which resulted in Mr O'Connor being injured.

Mr O'Connor was rushed to University Hospital Kerry (UHK) before being transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for specialist neurological care.

Garda McKeown said she travelled to CUH where she was told that the diagnosis for the young man was not positive.

Two sets of brain stem tests were carried out on Mr O'Connor on February 11 and he was declared brain dead.

He passed away at CUH at 4pm that day.

The young man was formally identified by his mother Kathleen.

After his death, Mr O'Connor donated his organs.

His family said it was a generous gesture typical of the Glencar man.

A post mortem examination was carried out on Mr O'Connor at CUH by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, told the Coroner's Court that Mr O'Connor died due to a traumatic head injury due to a fall following an alleged assault. Alcohol consumption was also a factor in the death.

The inquest heard that the case is under further investigation.

The matter is up for mention on December 19 next.

Mr O'Connor had worked in both construction and farming.

He had spent a number of years working in Australia when he was younger before deciding to return to his native Kerry.

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