Monday 23 October 2017

Man found hanged 'did not mean to take his own life'

Georgina O'Halloran

A BOOK on near-death experiences was discovered in the room of a man who was found suspended by a rope in his bathroom, an inquest was told yesterday.

The hearing was told that Robert McGarry (48) was experimenting when he died of ligature strangulation and did not intend to take his own life.

Mr McGarry, of Rathfarnham Mill, Church Lane, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, was found in the bathroom of the apartment where he lived alone by a member of the gardai on April 7 last after his brother expressed concern about him.

There was a rope around Mr McGarry's neck and left ankle.

Investigating sergeant Brendan O'Sullivan, who attended the scene, told the Dublin County coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty that he believed it was an accidental death and Mr McGarry was controlling the rope by having it around his ankle.

A book on near-death experiences was found in Mr McGarry's room, the sergeant said.

The coroner said all the evidence pointed to the fact that this was an experiment.


"It's known people sometimes carry out partial strangulation for various reasons," he said. "People who carry out these experiments should be warned that putting a ligature around their neck can cause instant unconsciousness and death," he said.

While they think they are in control, they are not, he added, recording a verdict of death by misadventure.

"This is a very tragic event," he said.

Dublin County Coroner's Court heard that Garda Shane Whelan went to Mr McGarry's apartment on April 7 with a locksmith after his brother Joseph McGarry contacted Rathfarnham garda station and expressed concern that his brother had not shown up for work that day. The 48-year-old worked at Bord Failte.

Mr McGarry's body was suspended from a board placed across the top of the shower. A post-mortem found he died from asphyxia due to ligature strangulation.

Sgt O'Sullivan agreed with the coroner that the way "this was set up in the bathroom" indicated it was a deliberate experiment. He told the coroner he had never come across any similar cases.

Another brother, Bernard McGarry, told the coroner he saw Mr McGarry two weeks earlier and they had arranged to play golf. Asked by the coroner if he had mentioned "this book he was reading", he said no but that his brother read widely.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News