Tuesday 20 March 2018

Kate's injury 'inconsistent with suicide'

Complaints from parents spark second investigation by gardai

ILLNESS: Kate Fitzgerald's account of coping with depression
in the workplace was published by the 'Irish Times' shortly
after she died last September
ILLNESS: Kate Fitzgerald's account of coping with depression in the workplace was published by the 'Irish Times' shortly after she died last September
DIED TOO YOUNG: Kate Fitzgerald, who wrote an article for 'The Irish Times' before she died


THE Garda Commissioner has opened a fresh investigation into the death of Kate Fitzgerald, the 25-year-old media consultant who was believed to have taken her own life before her anonymous account of coping with depression was published to wide acclaim.

The new investigation was ordered to establish all of the circumstances of Kate's death -- after her post-mortem results raised the possibility that she may have died in suspicious circumstances.

A detective superintendent at Pearse Street Garda Station was appointed to lead a new inquiry last month. It is understood that a team of up to eight detectives have begun interviewing those who were in contact with Ms Fitzgerald in her last days.

The new investigation follows a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman from Ms Fitzgerald's parents, Tom and Sally Fitzgerald, who were unhappy with the original probe into their daughter's death.

Ms Fitzgerald's body was found at her home in south Dublin on August 22 last year, in what was then believed to be a suicide.

Gardai must investigate the circumstances of such deaths and present a report on their findings to the coroner, who is required to establish the cause of death.

The Fitzgeralds lodged their complaint with the Garda Ombudsman in January, claiming that the original investigation was not sufficiently thorough.

The family received the results of the post-mortem in February and, according to informed sources, the findings noted an unusual feature which was not consistent with suicide.

The Garda Ombudsman raised the issue of the post-mortem results and other matters with garda management. It is understood that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appointed a senior officer to re-investigate the death. Mr Fitzgerald confirmed last night that the family had complained to the Garda Ombudsman but declined to elaborate because an investigation is under way.

Ms Fitzgerald was a media consultant and aspiring writer who suffered from depression.

She became a household name after her death when she was identified as the author of an anonymous article in the Irish Times about depression in the workplace.

The story of how she submitted the article hours before seemingly taking her own life became an internet sensation after it was published last September but it also identified Ms Fitzgerald's employer, about whom she had made certain allegations.

As a result, the Irish Times published an apology to public relations company the Communications Clinic last December, saying that certain aspects of the article were "not factual".

The family say they have still not been informed as to what aspect of their daughter's final article were "not factual".

Ms Fitzgerald's parents have also made a complaint to the Press Ombudsman.

In a decision published last week, the Press Ombudsman upheld the complaint, saying the newspaper "failed to take sufficiently into account the feelings of Tom and Sally Fitzgerald, who were grieving over the death by suicide of their daughter".

The Garda Ombudsman won't comment on complaints it receives from members of the public.

Sunday Independent

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