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Travel agent raised the alarm over suicide trip

CHARGES may be brought in the case of a south Dublin woman who died after she was prevented from travelling to a Swiss assisted suicide clinic.

A coroner has given gardai six months to complete their probe into the death of Bernadette Forde, from Morehampton Mews, Morehampton Road, Dublin 4.

A detective said that gardai will send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions within six months. The investigation is almost completed.

Ms Forde died shortly after she was prevented from travelling to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. A travel agent became suspicious and reported the matter.

At the opening of the inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court into the death of Ms Forde, Detective Inspector Sean Campbell said that gardai are to send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the matter shortly.

Det Insp Campbell said gardai had progressed the investigation and were nearing completion. He sought a six-month adjournment to allow time for a file to be sent to the DPP for consideration and for directions to be returned.

Ms Forde (51) was found dead at her apartment on June 6 last year having apparently taken her own life. Her body was identified at her home by her sister Catherine Campbell. The cause of death given at yesterday's court was barbiturate toxicity.

Gardai launched an investigation having previously been made aware that she had intended to travel to Switzerland to the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic.

Ms Forde was in the final stages of multiple sclerosis and had been planning to die in an assisted suicide. It is understood that she was prevented from travelling to the clinic when a travel agent alerted Gardai to her intentions.

The incident made headlines following her death and prompted calls for a review of the assisted suicide legislation.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned the matter for six months to allow Gardai complete their investigation with the inquest due for further mention on September 25.