Man convicted of killing girlfriend was struck by truck and killed on his birthday, inquest hears

By Louise Roseingrave

A man convicted and jailed for the killing his girlfriend died after he was struck by a truck on his birthday.

Laurence Callaghan of Back Lane Hostel in Dublin 8, died on October 26 2016, the date of his 51st birthday.

In February 2000 he was jailed for four years for the manslaughter of his girlfriend, Janet Mooney (29) over a lump of cannabis he thought she’d hidden from him.

On the morning of his death sixteen years later Mr Callaghan visited Crumlin Garda Station and told Gardai his mother and sister had been abducted from the family home.

Garda Liam Kearns told Dublin Coroner’s Court that Mr Callaghan told him he’d had a pistol pointed to his head during the incident.

He called to the house and obtained a phone number for Mr Callaghan’s sister from a neighbour.

Pauline Callaghan confirmed she and her mother were safe and well in Cork.

She told the garda that her brother was a recovering alcoholic who was suffering from Korsakoff Syndrome, a chronic memory disorder associated with alcohol use. He rang the station to inform the Sergeant there had been no abduction and was told that Mr Callaghan had already left.

At 11.45am that morning witness Paul O’Donnell saw Mr Callaghan struck by a truck at the Coombe. The incident happened just beyond the junction of Meath Street and the Coombe as the truck was travelling towards the city.

“Initially when I saw him he was walking. Then it looked like he picked up speed to get across the road in front of the truck,” Mr O’Donnell said.

Emergency services were called but Mr Callaghan was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem report found death was caused by head, abdominal, pelvic and thoracic injuries as a consequence of a road traffic collision. A toxicology report found he had no alcohol in his system. The only substance found in his system was Sertraline, a prescribed anti-depressant drug.

A forensic collision report found the man was struck by the front wheel of the truck and the collision was unavoidable from the point of view of the driver.

A file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but no charges were brought.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.


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