Monday 19 March 2018

Woman dies after 9ft wall plunge

Firm fined €10,000 for safety breaches that led to pensioner's death

Stephen Maguire

A HUSBAND tried to reach out and save his wife as she fell over a wall to her death.

Mona Duffy (68) died from her injuries after she fell more than 9ft onto her head at Speer's Lane, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Letterkenny Coroner's Court heard how Mrs Duffy of Latton, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, had been on holiday in Bundoran with her husband Aloe when they decided to visit Letterkenny on July 3, 2006.

Mr Duffy revealed how he and his wife had just had lunch at Gallagher's Hotel and were walking back to their car on nearby Speer's Lane at 2.20pm when they sat down for a rest on a wall which was part of the hotel.

Mr Duffy said that as soon as his wife sat down on the small wall, about one foot high, she fell backwards. He revealed how he reached out to try and save his wife, but couldn't.

A hotel receptionist alerted passing gardai.

Garda Charlene Anderson revealed how she went straight to Mrs Duffy and put her jacket beneath her and tried to place her in the recovery position. Garda Anderson said that she felt a slight pulse, but Mrs Duffy began to vomit from her nose and mouth.

She was pronounced dead by Dr John Coughlan a short time later, at 2.55pm.

Pathologist Dr David Barry revealed how an autopsy showed that Mrs Duffy had died from a number of injuries, including a severe head injury.

The inquest also heard how Mrs Duffy had received chemotherapy for stomach cancer, but this had no bearing on her sudden death.

The jury returned an unanimous verdict in accordance with the pathologist's findings, which stated that Ms Duffy's death was as a result of multiple injuries sustained in a fall.

They added that it was a tragedy that could have been prevented if the proper safety precautions had been in place.

A construction company, Dunree Construction, was fined €10,000 at Letterkenny Circuit Court after pleading guilty to breaching regulations under the Health and Welfare Act that led to the death of Ms Duffy.

Coroner John Cannon expressed his sincere condolences to Mr Duffy and his family on Mrs Duffy's death.

Irish Independent

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