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'Nobody told us how our brother died'

The HSE never approached Simon Sexton's elderly parents to explain how their son died, his sister said yesterday.

Helen Sexton took to the witness box to describe the pride her family had in her brother, who signed up to be a paramedic while also running the family farm.

"We find it hard to believe there was not a single visit by the HSE to our parents to explain how Simon died," she told the court. "There was no acknowledgement of our grief.

"It wouldn't have brought Simon back, but it might have brought some understanding of what happened." Helen Sexton said her brother's death "broke all our hearts".

"In every family there is a hero," she added, "and Simon was ours. I can't express to you all how fantastic he was." She told how her late father's Alzheimer's disease worsened after the death and that she had to watch him relive the heartache "over and over again".

Following the death, they were forced to rent out the family farm and put their elderly parents in a home as her brother was no longer living next door to care for them.



Many people wept in court as Mr Sexton's widow, Catherine, described the effect of his death on their six children.

She said last week she found letters under her seven-year-old daughter's bed addressed to her father, telling him how she loved him and wanted him to come back home.

"I was the luckiest woman in the world," Mrs Sexton continued. "We had a wonderful past and a bright future, raising and educating our six beautiful children.

"My God, how could this happen to my husband and the father of my children?"

Following the hearing, solicitor Mary Brady, on behalf of the family, said Mr Sexton's death might never have occurred if improved safety procedures had been put in place after 2007.

"Nothing will bring Simon back, but his family hope no family will have to go through what they've gone through and hope that lessons will have been learned from this dreadful tragedy."