Family pay tribute to 'much-loved' great-grandfather who slipped in back garden
'We lost a very big part of our family that day' - daughter says
The family of a much-loved great-grandfather who died after slipping in his back garden on Christmas Day has paid tribute to him as a "good man who lived a happy life".
Edward Duffy (82), of Rockford Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was following his daughter to the garden shed to look for a blow torch to glaze the Christmas ham on the morning of December 25, 2015, when he slipped and hit his head on the path.
The weather had been very wet and the path was slippery as a result.
Remembering him, his heartbroken daughter Deborah Doyle said he was a "jolly man" who loved singing with the Dublin Bus Male Choir.
"We were only at Mass the previous night, Christmas Eve, and dad sat up the front to see the choir," said Ms Doyle.
"Dad always cooked the Christmas dinner, but we were all helping him and he sent me out to the shed to get the blow lamp.
"But I wasn't quick enough, it seems, and he came out after me and then he slipped.
"We had to help him up and we brought him to the bathroom and changed his clothes and things, and then he wanted his breakfast.
"That was at about 9am, but by 11 he was getting confused and things started to deteriorate rapidly. He was complaining of a headache so we called an ambulance."
Mr Duffy was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital, where he died from his injuries later on Christmas Day.
At an inquest last week into his death, coroner Dr Myra Cullinane heard the evidence of pathologist Dr John O'Neill, who said that the cause of death was bleeding on the brain with brain swelling due to the fall in which he sustained a bump to the head.
"He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great- grandfather. We lost a very big part of our family that day," Ms Doyle said from the house where the tragedy happened.
"He was a great man, a kind man. Myself and my husband and three kids lived here with him.
"Christmas Day was always a big day. Santa had come and everybody was excited and in good form, and then Dad just slipped in the garden. He was two days off his 83rd birthday.
"Dad was a sailor all his life, and used to do long trips out at sea. But after he got married my mam put her foot down and he got a job with Irish Lights, working on the lighthouses.
"He had a friend in the Dublin Bus Choir who encouraged him to join, and he saw the world with them, even singing in Carnegie Hall.
"He used to say that with a bit of training he could have been a great singer."
Ms Doyle said she misses her father every day. Mr Duffy's wife, Eileen, died many years ago when she was only 57.
The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death at the inquest.
"Of all the days to lose someone, that is a most difficult one," Dr Cullinane said.
She also commended the family on the manner in which they had cared for Mr Duffy.