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Prisoner died after catching swine flu

THE family of a man who died after contracting swine flu while in prison has questioned why he was not treated for the virus earlier.

John O'Connor (52) died at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin in March of last year, from complications after he contracted the H1N1 virus at Cloverhill Prison two months earlier.

Mr O'Connor, from Althumney Castle, Navan, Co Meath, had been on remand in Cloverhill Prison for 11 months when he was diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection by prison medics and was treated with antibiotics, an inhaler and, subsequently, steroids.

An earlier sitting of the inquest had to be adjourned after his family raised concerns that Mr O'Connor had not been treated for swine flu at this stage. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the inquest could only deal with the facts and not speculate on when Mr O'Connor contracted the virus.

The jury returned a verdict of death by natural causes.