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PR executive died by her own hand coroner is told

NO ONE else was involved in the death of PR executive Kate Fitzgerald, an inquest has heard.

State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy categorically ruled out the possibility that somebody other than Kate might have caused her death.

Questions had been raised about how Ms Fitzgerald died after a post-mortem examination found that the hyoid bone in her neck had been fractured.

Dr Cassidy told Dublin Coroner's Court that there were no marks or injuries to her body to suggest that she "had been assaulted, struggled with another party" or "had been gripped, grabbed or restrained in any manner".

 

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Everything about the incident is "consistent with death due to hanging", she said.

Ms Fitzgerald (25) was found hanging at her home at Harty Place in Dublin 8 on August 23, 2011 by two friends.

Her death made headlines when she was identified as the author of an article in the Irish Times, published two weeks after her death, on depression, which included comments about her workplace.

Her employers were subsequently identified as The Communications Clinic and the newspaper published a statement apologising to the company, indicating that some assertions in Ms Fitzgerald's article were "not factual".

The Press Ombudsman later held that this statement did not sufficiently take into account the feelings of her parents, Tom and Sally Fitzgerald.

A post-mortem found that the hyoid bone in Ms Fitzgerald's neck had been fractured.

However, pathologist Dr Muna Sabah said the bone had fractured at its weakest point and that this is common in cases where the neck is compressed by a ligature.

Dr Sabah said that she had made a typographical error when she gave the cause of death as "asphyxia due to ligature strangulation" in her initial report.

She was now giving the cause of death as hanging, she said.

 

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Her report was reviewed by Dr Cassidy, who agreed with the cause of death and told the court that, in a study carried out by her office, they found that in cases where the larynx was fractured during hanging, 46pc involved the hyoid bone.

The court also heard that the garda who initially investigated the death had never dealt with a case of sudden death before.

David Healy, who has since left the force, said that he did not feel that there was anything untoward about the death.

He secured the house, but did not call in a scenes of crime examiner and no photographs were taken. No note or letter was found.

The inquest continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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