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Pensioner (71) died after fight with man (96)

A WHEELCHAIR-bound pensioner died after a fight with a 96-year-old man in a Dublin nursing home.

Patrick Declan Kinsella (71) suffered a fractured shin bone and calf bone in the fight on August 24 last year at Annabeg Nursing Home, Meadow Court, Ballybrack, Co Dublin.

The fight began because Mr Kinsella could not turn off the lights.

Dublin City Coroner's Court heard staff nurse Jeanette Suarez raised the alarm when she found him lying on the ground floor of the nursing home, beside the nurses' station.

He was complaining of pain in his right leg.

Another resident, Gerard Phelan, who had dementia, was standing behind the wheelchair and both men were bleeding from the head.

Mr Kinsella told a paramedic that "he had been assaulted".

The two residents were taken to St Vincent's Hospital in separate ambulances for treatment.

Mr Kinsella told his daughter Carol Cunnie that Mr Phelan had "tipped" him out of his wheelchair and that he fell on to the ground and hit his head.


Ms Cunnie told the inquest her father told her Mr Phelan had then picked up a "grabber", which Mr Kinsella had for picking up things, and began "beating him on the face" with it.

Ms Cunnie recalled her father said the "grabber" broke and that he then hit Mr Phelan with it. The incident occurred after Mr Phelan told Mr Kinsella to turn off the lights and he replied he could not because he was in a wheelchair, Mr Kinsella told his daughter. Mr Kinsella was placed in a cast and discharged back to the nursing home on August 25, but was re-admitted to the Dublin hospital the following day following a deterioration in his condition. He died on August 28.

Mr Kinsella's death was due to fat embolus, a recognised complication of a fracture, where fat globules travel to the heart and lungs causing breathing problems, cardiac failure and death, a post-mortem found.

He recorded a narrative verdict, a summary of the facts of the case.

The dead man's widow, Patricia Kinsella, told the court that the family did not blame anybody. She said the nursing home staff were "fantastic".