Thursday 22 August 2019

Chef died choking on lamb 'after great week' of holidays - inquest

Cawley's Hotel in Tubbercurry
Cawley's Hotel in Tubbercurry

Sorcha Crowley

A retired French chef choked and died in a Tubbercurry hotel after spending “a great week” shooting in Sligo last year.

Sligo Coroner’s Court heard on Monday that Roger Jacquet (80), from Macon in Burgundy, was enjoying a rack of lamb, “perfectly cooked” in the dining room of Cawley’s Hotel in Tubbercurry when he started coughing and slumped in his seat on December 15 2017.

Waitress Eleanor Kennedy noticed him coughing at 9.35pm and gave him some water to drink before running into the kitchen to fetch the hotel owner Teresa Cawley.

She had earlier been joking with Roger and said in her deposition, which was read out by Sgt Philip Maree, that Roger had only a small amount of wine drank when he started coughing.

Teresa Cawley said in her deposition that the deceased was slumped and “limp”.

She started the Heimlich manoeuvre and then put him in the recovery position while she ran to get a female doctor who was travelling with the shooting party.

The doctor did CPR on him until the Fire Brigade and paramedics arrived and removed a piece of meat from his airways.

However the Frenchman was pronounced dead at 10.38pm.

Teresa Cawley said that she had been chatting to Roger who asked for his lamb pink, “perfectly cooked”.

“He was re-booking for next year and said what a great week he had,” she said.

Dr Paul Hartel told the court that a postmortem examination suggested that “severe coronary heart disease was responsible” for his death and the “choking incident contributed to that.”

Dr Hartel said they would never know whether the heart attack the widower suffered caused the choking, or the choking triggered the heart attack.

A jury of six men and one woman returned a verdict of death by accident. They, along with the Garda Síochána and Sligo Fire Service conveyed their sympathies to the family of Roger Jacquet who were not in court.

Sligo Champion

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