Women attending a hen party in Kinsale who became ill in their rooms at the Trident Hotel thought at first that their drinks might have been spiked at the party but it transpired that carbon monoxide poisoning was the issue.
Patricia Reidy-Russell, sister of the late Miriam Reidy, broken down in the witness box as she recalled what happened and trying in vain to save her sister in the case at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
Richard Davis, aged 44, from Serenity, Killanully, Ballygarvan, Co Cork, is on trial for manslaughter of Miriam Reidy and two breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. Mr Davis’s company, Davis Heating and Plumbing Contractors of Marina Commercial Park in Cork, is charged with two similar breaches of the safety act relating to the conversion of a gas boiler at the Trident on January 4, 2011, to which not guilty pleas were also entered.
Patricia and Miriam were part of a hen party group at The White Lady, but they l went to their room in the Trident at 1am. She said they had little to drink that night.
She recalled Miriam said the air was cold around her bed. Patricia said she also felt very cold. She used extra blankets from the wardrobe and asked for more from reception.
“The next thing I heard was a thud at the bottom of the bed. I believe she had gone to the bathroom and she stumbled and fell at the end of the bed. She looked dazed — not herself. I noticed my legs were weak. Something was not right.
“She was a dead weight trying to lift her up… I got her onto the bed.
“It was then I noticed she had been sick on the bed. She said: ‘Oh, I got sick.’ I said: ‘Don’t worry about that, come over to my side of the bed, we will try to get some sleep.’ It was going through my head, were our drinks spiked?”
Ms Reidy-Russell texted a friend to see if they were OK and called a doctor who treated them with injections for the vomiting bug.
She woke on Monday in the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital. She cried as she recalled being told Miriam had died.
The party was for Marie Reidy, a nurse and a cousin of the two sisters. She arrived at their room and told her friend to call 999, telling her: “Patricia is very sick, I think Miriam is dead.”
Marie Reidy told the court: “I turned Patricia on her right-hand-side so she would not see me doing CPR on her sister.” A doctor arrived soon afterwards but Miriam Reidy was dead.
Cork City FC player Ian Turner and his girlfriend described how they became ill when at the Trident on the night. Mr Turner and Aileen O’Mahony went to their room to get ready but Ms O’Mahony started to get a bit wobbly, Mr Turner said.
Mr Turner also became sick. Ms O’Mahony said: “I said: ‘Ian, I don’t feel well. I am 100% going to pass out.’ I did pass out.”
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