The cold weather has been blamed for the deaths of two people who were found in an apartment in Dublin’s north inner city centre on Monday.
Toxicology tests on the bodies of John Glennon, 67, and Debbie McEvoy, 63, yesterday ruled out theories that poisoning from carbon monoxide had been the cause of their deaths.
The bodies were found at Mr Glennon’s home within a retirement complex owned by Dublin City Council at Drumalee Court, Stoneybatter, on Monday afternoon.
The results of preliminary autopsies indicated that hypothermia was a contributory factor in the deaths. Tests also showed Mr Glennon suffered from heart disease, while Ms McEvoy had a history of high blood pressure.
However, it is believed freezing conditions over the past few days triggered the couple’s deaths, as there were signs electric heaters in the home had not been switched on in recent days.
Autopsy results also suggested the pair had eaten little food in recent days but had consumed large quantities of alcohol.
Garda sources indicated they are satisfied the deaths were not suspicious. Full details about the cause of death are likely to emerge at an inquest, which will be held in due course.
Although the couple had not been seen publicly since before last weekend, it is believed they may have been dead for up to a day and a half before their bodies were discovered by a care worker.
Mr Glennon, who was known to residents as “Little Elvis”, had lived at the small apartment for several years, while Ms McEvoy was a regular visitor.
It was initially suspected that the pair might have died as a result of a gas leak, but Bord Gáis engineers said there was no evidence of any gas leak within the complex.
It was also established that no natural gas had been used in Mr Glennon’s home for the past six years.
Crying reading about the Dublin couple who died from the cold, found huddled together. Gov needs to bring back the full fuel allowance.— Jessica O' Leary (@jessicaolearyx) January 15, 2013
Dublin City Council last night refused to comment on the findings of the autopsies.
The local authority was heavily criticised in the past following the death of Rachel Peavoy, 30, who died from hypothermia at her flat in Ballymun on Jan 11, 2010. An inquest into the death of the mother- of-two heard evidence that the council had switched off heating in the block of flats where she lived, as all the other apartments had been vacated.
Dublin City Council insisted the heating had been functioning in Ms Peavoy’s flat at the time of her death.
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