Tuesday 22 May 2018

City security guard found body floating in the Liffey

Dublin City Coroner's Court
Dublin City Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A security worker at a Dublin boathouse who saw a backpack floating in the River Liffey later discovered it was attached to a body, an inquest heard.

Alan Coleman spotted the backpack in the river on Sunday, March 8 2015.

The following day, he went to examine the backpack and found it was attached to a body.

"The next day the backpack was in the same position.

"I pulled on the backpack and a human arm rose out of the water," Mr Coleman - of Trinity Boathouse, Islandbridge, Dublin 8 - said in his deposition.

He called gardai and the members of the Garda Water Unit arrived to recover the body.

In the backpack they found items that identified the dead man as Vincent Dunphy (35), of Pearse House, Dublin 2.

Mr Dunphy was last seen on Saturday morning, March 7 2015, and it was not possible to trace his movements after that.

Gardai called to the man's father's house in Clondalkin to notify the family.

It was not known how Mr Dunphy came to be in the water or how long he was there, Coroner Myra Cullinane told the family.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard the man was on a methadone treatment programme. He last attended the methadone clinic three days before his body was found.

A post-mortem report found he died due to drowning.

He had toxic levels of methadone and benzodiazepines in his system at the time of his death which may have had a sedative effect, according to the pathologist. Gardai believed Mr Dunphy was homeless.


"He may have been sleeping rough prior to this, on benches in and around the city. I'm not 100pc sure," Garda Sean Gallagher of Kilmainham Garda Station told the court.

However, a friend of the deceased told the court that Mr Dunphy he was staying with him in his apartment at Pearse House at the time.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, according to gardai.

The coroner returned an open verdict.

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