Wednesday 17 January 2018

Homeless man’s final meal was fire lighters because he was so hungry, inquest hears

Kennedy Park, Limerick
Kennedy Park, Limerick
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A homeless man’s last meal before he died was fire lighters because he was so hungry in the hours before he died, an inquest heard.

Christopher Kelly (50) who originally lived at St Mary’s Park, Limerick, was pronounced dead on March 30.

Before his death, the man consumed huge amounts of alcohol and drugs before eating domestic fire lighters - The Irish Examiner is reporting.

His final day was recounted at an inquest before Limerick coroner, John McNamara on Wednesday.

A friend told the hearing that he met Mr Kelly around 2pm off St John’s Square at the homeless centre. While the friend got a bed, Mr Kelly was forced to sleep rough.

The pair spent the night drinking and later met a woman they knew who brought them to her house in Kennedy Park.

Mr Kelly continued drinking and also took 11 Xanax tablets, the inquest heard.

The friend who brought him to the house went to bed upstairs and came down a few times to check on him. He found Mr Kelly at one stage during the night eating fire lighters because he was so hungry. The friend took the fire lighters off him and gave him some pretzels.

After Mr Kelly became sick, he was turned on his side. In the morning, the friend discovered Mr Kelly was not breathing and called an ambulance.

He had died on a kitchen floor.

Pathologist Dr Vourneen Healy told the inquest she found Xanax tablets in one of Mr Kelly’s socks. Blood samples contained toxic levels of an anti-depressant along with a large amount of methadone and alcohol, with a toxic level of 185. Death, she said, was due to the affects of drugs and alcohol. Mr Kelly, she said, had been unconscious when he died.

According to The Irish Examiner, recording a verdict of misadventure, the coroner said Mr Kelly did not intend to die and described it as “an unexpected tragedy”.

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