Sunday 27 May 2018

Tram passenger who choked on Mars bar had 'turned his life around'

David O’Reilly (49), of Kingscourt, Co Cavan, stepped off the Luas at Abbey Street and collapsed on October 29, 2015. Photo: PA
David O’Reilly (49), of Kingscourt, Co Cavan, stepped off the Luas at Abbey Street and collapsed on October 29, 2015. Photo: PA

Louise Roseingrave

A Luas passenger who choked on a Mars bar and later died had a "heart of gold", according to his family.

David O'Reilly (49), of Kingscourt, Co Cavan, stepped off the Luas at Abbey Street and collapsed on October 29, 2015. "He had a heart of gold. He was so kind. He had very little but he would give you anything," the man's sister Frances Buchanan said after an inquest into his death.

Her brother had trained as a chef at the age of 15, she said. The family of seven siblings lost both parents when they were very young and this had a traumatic effect on her younger brother, Ms Buchanan said.

"He loved sport, he called around often to visit my sons and they would watch football together, they were very close.

"He had managed to turn his life around," she said.

A resumed inquest into Mr O'Reilly death heard that a number of people got off the Luas at the Abbey Street stop in a bid to help him. He was rushed to the Mater Hospital where part of a Mars bar was removed from his airway. He was treated in the intensive care unit but later transferred to a six-bed ward, where family found him in a distressed state.

In his medical report Dr Stephen Stuart, consultant on call at the Mater Hospital, noted the man had inhaled part of a Mars bar and suffered a cardiac arrest. Mr O'Reilly died at the Mater Hospital on November 17. The cause of death was severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen caused by aspiration of a food bolus.

The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News