Sunday 16 December 2018

Fears elderly man may have died from hypothermia

Photo: Stock picture
Photo: Stock picture
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

GARDAÍ are investigating after an elderly man died from suspected hypothermia, understands.

It is suspected the man may have died as a result of cold snap over recent days.

It is understood he was found outside his property and later passed away at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.

Details are still emerging but indications are that he may have suffered hypothermia.

Speaking about potential weather related deaths the chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group, Sean Hogan, said there have been a number of fatalities in recent days but he can't say whether they can be directly blamed on Storm Emma.

"We have been concerned from the beginning," he said, adding that the call still stands for people to check up on vulnerable neighbours.

He declined to comment on the case in Carlow.

The tragic discovery comes after Mr Varadkar pointed out that there have been a number of road fatalities in recent days although it’s difficult to know if they were caused by the weather.

“But there have been a number of deaths, sadly, and of course there is the possibility that as we clear the roads as we get out to isolated areas, that we may find people dead in their homes in the coming days.

“I think it is true to say that things could have been very much worse had it not been for the enormous response of the public service, of the gardai, the health service, the defence forces, civil defence, all of the different voluntary groups who pulled together, I think in the last couple of days.

"We spend most of the year and most of the time talking about what doesn’t work in Ireland but it’s on occasions like this that we actually see how well things can work, particularly when people pull together,” he said.

The Fine Gael leader stood behind his comments during this morning, and said he is worried about the prospect of people being found dead in their homes in isolated areas in the coming days.

"That's my fear," he told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.

"I didn't mean to cause any undue alarm, but it is a definite possibility in the days ahead, in the coming days as we gain access to homes in some of the areas that were cut off.

"We did have a number of fatalities in the last couple of days," Mr Varadkar continued.

"It is not possible to say whether those unfortunate deaths would have happened anyway, but it is a possibility that they mightn't have if it wasn't for the weather.

"We felt the full force of Mother Nature in recent days, it was the worst snow storm in 35 years.

"And while people are back at work today, it will take days before things get back to normal, especially in Wexford, Kildare and Wicklow."

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