Man found decomposed in his dilapidated Dublin home, inquest hears

Man found decomposed in his dilapidated Dublin home, inquest hears
Deputy Corner Crona Gallagher returned an open verdict into the man's death at an inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court.

An ex-military policeman who lived in dilapidated circumstances in Dublin 8 was found badly decomposed in his home, an inquest has heard.

The 61-year-old man was found entangled in a step-ladder placed on concrete blocks in a bid to secure the front door.

The garden of his home was extremely overgrown and the glazing was missing from the windows, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

There was no glass in the windows to the rear of the house and metal sheeting had been used to secure the front windows of the house at Herberton Road in Rialto, Dublin 8.

John Cunnane had lost contact with his family after his mother’s death and his living circumstances had declined, an inquest heard.

A relative called to the house regularly but Mr Cunnane never answered the door.

Dublin City Council Environmental Officer Anton Mullen called to the house following calls from concerned neighbours. The house was owner-occupied.

“I didn’t go in because of the conditions, I didn’t think it was safe,” Mr Mullen told Dublin Coroner's Court.

He contacted gardai who found Mr Cunnane’s body in the hallway of his home on October 27, 2017. The man was known to wear a peaked cap and this was at the bottom of the stairs.

“His right leg was trapped between the step ladder and the bannister. The step ladder and blocks were hazardous. The house was in a state of disrepair,” garda Peter Mullins said.

A post-mortem could not determine the cause of death due to the level of decomposition but there was no evidence to suggest the man sustained any serious trauma.

Mr Cunnane collected a pension up until the end of September.

Deputy Corner Crona Gallagher returned an open verdict.

“Unfortunately we can’t say when he died. At a minimum, it was a number of weeks before he was found but it could have been months,” the coroner said.

“It’s a very sad and tragic end to his life,” the coroner said.

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