Froze to death in flat

THE doctor representing the family of a 30-year-old mother-of- two who died from hypothermia in her council flat, has called for an independent inquiry into her death.

Rachel Peavoy, of 224 Shangan Road, Ballymun, Dublin 9, was found dead in her “perilously cold” flat on January 11, 2010.

The pathologist found Ms Peavoy had suffered hypothermia.

The inquest at Dublin City Coroner’s Court was told that the single mother of two boys died after the city council refused to address the issue of heating in her flat.

The inquest heard how she had contacted Dublin City Council in relation to the matter but was told the heating would not be turned back on as a number of flats around her had been vacated and were empty and because regeneration was ongoing.

Ms Peavoy had last spoken to her mother, Celine, the day before she was found dead.

She had asked her mother to mind her two sons, Leon and Warren, and said she was turning her phone off because she couldn’t sleep.

The next day, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact Ms Peavoy, her brother, Leon Peavoy, and her friend, Jacqueline Johnston, let themselves into her flat. Ms Johnston found the body in the main bedroom.

Counsel for the family Dr Ciaran Craven told the inquest that Minister for Housing Noel Ahern had been contacted by Rachel and her family about the issue. Dr Craven said he also made a number of representations on behalf of Rachel.

Dr Craven told the inquest Ms Peavoy’s flat was “perilously cold” during the bad weather spell last January.

Calling for an inquiry, he said this was a case where “a young woman with no other system disorder died of hypothermia” and where there was “ample evidence in relation to the heating not working”.

The inquest heard how the garda who had examined the scene also noted the flat was “freezing”.

The inquest also heard that Ms Peavoy’s doctor had said she attended his surgery on December 15, 2009, requesting a letter for heating costs.

Dublin City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned the inquest until February 24 to obtain further statements about the coldness of Ms Peavoy’s flat.

The victim, who had a borderline personality disorder, also suffered from back pain.


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