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Call for barrier at spot where man drowned

THE City Coroner is to write to Dublin City Council and the Irish Inland Waterways Body to ask them to consider putting up a barrier along a stretch of canal where a man drowned.

David Gifford (22), from Gaelic Street, died on August 20 last year after falling into the canal, despite intensive efforts to resuscitate him.

An autopsy was carried out and toxicology screening showed alcohol, sedative medication, recent use of cocaine and also 'head shop type drugs' in his body.

The Coroner's Court heard this week that the 'football mad' man had been drinking with friends along the canal.

He and a friend, Natasha Dunne, left the group and were walking to North Strand Bridge when they fell into the canal.

"I have no idea how myself or David ended in the canal," Natasha said yesterday.

Adam Hartman, who lived nearby, said that his dog woke him at 6am and insisted on him taking her to the canal, and they went out.

"I was barefoot and in my pyjamas. I saw a woman in the canal," he said.


He said he looked for the safety ring that was normally beside the lamppost but it wasn't there. He put his keys down, the woman swam towards him and he pulled her out.

She had started to scream, "Where's my pal? Where's my pal?" However, Mr Hartman said he could not see anyone else in the water.

He subsequently called the gardai on his mobile phone.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said: "I want to commend you for what you did that morning."

The court heard that a friend of David Gifford pulled him from the water after jumping in and finding him at the bottom of the canal.

CPR was commenced and the emergency services took over on their arrival but he had no cardiac output. He was brought to the Mater where he was pronounced dead shortly after 7am.

Garda John Costigan said he was called to the scene at 6.25am. He said: "Stephen Brazil was attempting CPR on a male lying down."

He said that Derek Gifford, who was present, told him it was his brother David.

He told the coroner: "A group of males had been drinking at the canal. There were no suspicious circumstances."