Financial pressure led businessman to take his life, wife tells inquest

A devoted father who was under huge financial pressure after losing his business took his own life, an inquest heard yesterday.

Respected businessman and father of four, Kieran Mulcahy, aged 45, from Maryborough in Douglas, Cork, ran a successful industrial painting business in the city.

However, his widow, Rose, told Cork City Coroner’s Court that he found it “very difficult” when he lost the business, that he missed his colleagues, and found it hard to start again.

“It was financial pressure, hugely, and the pressure dealing with that. It was constant. He felt as soon as he dealt with one problem, there was another. He found it difficult to close the chapters.”

The inquest heard Mr Mulcahy travelled to Britain last December with the intention of working on a project until Christmas. However, he returned to Cork unexpectedly just days before his death.

The inquest was told that on Dec 12, he left a note for his wife — its contents gave rise to concern — on a mantle piece in their home before he left at about 4pm.

Two witnesses saw him revving his car before driving it at speed into the River Lee at about 5.30pm.

His body was recovered by naval service divers just before midnight.

An autopsy established the cause of death was drowning in association with acute alcoholic intoxication.

Dr Margot Bolster, assistant state pathologist, said she found high levels of alcohol in his system which would have impaired his judgment and co-ordination.

William Sullivan, Mr Mulcahy’s brother-in-law, said he had confided in him about his business difficulties, and that he was generally concerned for Mr Mulcahy.

However, he said the businessman had never expressed any intention to harm himself, and the family never expected him to take such action.

The coroner said the evidence supported her returning a verdict that the deceased took his own life.

Mrs Mulcahy said she had been worried about her husband for about six months before his death and had urged him to seek medical help, but he had declined because he did not think there was a problem.

“It was terribly unfortunate that he took this action — it seems like small problems, but to him they were very big.” She said she would prefer him to be remembered for his successes, rather than for the manner of his death.

“He was a wonderful husband and father. It is such a huge loss for us as a family. I would rather him to be remembered for his achievements, and he had an awful lot of those.”

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