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Saturday 16 December 2017

Hypothermia death 'doesn't make sense', says family

Shane Hickey

THE family of a mother of two who froze to death in her flat has said it doesn't make sense that she died of hypothermia if the heating was working.

Dublin City Council yesterday said it "very much regrets" the death of Rachel Peavoy (30), who was found dead in Ballymun, Dublin, on January 11, 2010.

An inquest earlier this week found Ms Peavoy died as a result of hypothermia.

However, the council insisted the heating was operating in the block where she lived.

A verdict by the Dublin city coroner that the first-floor flat was not freezing at the time prompted fury from members of the dead woman's family.

The council statement was also rejected by the family last night, who said it "doesn't make any sense" that the young mother could have died of hypothermia in her flat on Shangan Road if the heating was working.

Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure on Wednesday and said the damp and wet in Ms Peavoy's flat on one of the coldest nights of the year were contributing factors.

"The various submissions to the inquest have now been heard and, in this regard, Dublin City Council confirmed that heating at the Shangan Road flats was operating continuously, 24 hours a day, in January 2010," a statement from the council said.

Ms Peavoy's uncle Michael Duffy said the heating system in the complex worked by hot water being pumped through the concrete structure, a system which was very slow to cool down after it was switched off.

"Logic says you cannot die of hypothermia if the heat is on," he said.

At the inquest, Dr Farrell said he accepted evidence that the heating was working.

The family has called for a public inquiry.

Irish Independent

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