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Inquest told man pleaded for help days before death

The brother of a man who was found dead in his father's garden told his inquest that his late brother had pleaded to be admitted to a psychiatric facility following a suicide attempt four days previously, but was refused because of "cutbacks".

Dominic Kiernan (45), from Bolbrook Villas, Tallaght, Dublin 24, was found dead in the front garden of his father's home at Maplewood Park in Tallaght on June 25 last year.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard a post-mortem carried out by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis has been unable to establish cause of death.

He had a long history of mental illness, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and was being treated through Southwest HSE psychiatric services. He was attended regularly by a home care team.

Tyrone Kiernan told the court that on the previous Friday, June 21, his brother had attempted to slit his wrists and taken an overdose of tablets. He had pleaded to be taken into a permanent facility.

"He said to them that he wanted to go into a permanent facility and they told him that he would not meet the criteria, more or less because of the cutbacks," he said.

He was last visited by the home care team on the day before his death. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that a report from the team said that he was "reminded" to attend his GP in relation to his medications. The nurse also dropped into the GP surgery to ask them to reassess Mr Kiernan's medication because they were worried he was not taking it.

DEPRESSION

Consultant psychiatrist with the HSE psychiatric services in Tallaght Dr Veronica O'Keane described him as "chronically unhappy" with "superimposed" episodes of depression and said that he would "seek help on a daily basis". His case was discussed with the multi-disciplinary team regularly.

Mr Kiernan was found when passers-by noticed him lying in the garden of the family home on the morning of June 25. He had been dead for a number of hours.

Following concerns regarding bruising on the body, Dr Curtis carried out the post-mortem. In his report, he said that he was unable to establish a cause of death. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned the inquest to September 5 to hear directly from Dr Curtis.

hnews@herald.ie


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