'It's a grim day': West Cork coroner's court hears of five suicides

'It's a grim day': West Cork coroner's court hears of five suicides

On World Suicide Prevention Day, a coroner’s court in Bantry heard details of five deaths, self-caused, across one area in West Cork.

In one case, a young man, a father of two children, was found by two workers at a refuse company. The man had died of acute carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to his mother, he had moved back in a short time previously due to difficulties with his marriage. He was worried about maybe not being able to see his children.

There had been two previous attempts, she said.

From then on, we knew he was in a bad place.

Another case involved an Italian man who had spent some time in Galway before working for a number of weeks at a house in Goleen in exchange for bed and board.

The owner told coroner Frank O’Connell that the man, who was in his early 50s, had barely a word of English.

“I have been finding it very difficult since the incident,” the householder told gardaí.

“He [the Italian] definitely had some problems in his mind, but he didn’t want to talk about it,” he told the court.

The investigating garda revealed that the dead man’s laptop showed there had been plans for him to return home.

Another man, believed to be Dutch, was found in his rented house by his landlord, who told gardaí that the man had stayed at the property for four years with his partner and two children.

The landlord said the children had “never looked happy” and that no-one came over to play with them.

Then, some months before the man’s death, his wife and children had left, and he was ill.

The landlord asked the man why he didn’t return to the Netherlands for treatment.

He said he couldn’t as he had murdered someone, and just left it at that.

In another case, a young man was found by one of his housemates at a property in Bantry. His friend was so concerned he kicked the door in.

When the man was last seen by both his housemates they told him that his high score in a game of Pinball on the Playstation had finally been beaten.

The man’s mother told the coroner:

“It was out of the blue, completely.”

In the fifth case, the mother of a man in his 40s who had been treated for years for anxiety and depression said he had not wanted to attend a psychiatric appointment at Bantry hospital the following day.

She went to work and her son said he would clear up cuttings in the lawn.

She rang at 3.30pm. There was no answer. She returned home and found the door open.

“He hadn’t done any of the work he said he was going to do,” she said.

Sympathies were passed to all the affected families and friends of those who died.

At one point between cases Mr O’Connell remarked to gardaí: “It’s a grim day.”

www.samaritans.org / call 116 123 / www.3ts.ie

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