Man devastated by sister's killing took his own life - inquest

The brother of a woman who was killed last year took his own life weeks after her death, an inquest heard. 

James Doyle (49) of Pier View, Mount Carmel Road, in Wicklow Town developed an adjustment disorder following the killing of his sister, Anne Shortall.

The mother of three was found dead on a property outside Killoughter, Co Wicklow on April 7 2015.

Mr Doyle’s partner, John McCabe told an inquest into his death that he had been feeling down for a number of weeks.

“He’d been suffering from depression since the death of his sister. His mood was down, he was withdrawn, he didn’t talk much. Following Anne’s murder he withdrew into himself,” Mr McCabe told Dublin Coroner’s Court.

“He came into me and told me he loved me and thanked me and in hindsight it was his way of saying goodbye,” Mr McCabe said.

He heard a loud bang downstairs and called out to Mr Doyle who replied he was fine, he had slipped. He later found him critically ill in the kitchen following an attempt to take his own life.

Mr Doyle was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital where he died two days later. He was pronounced dead in the intensive care unit at 1.05am on May 27 2015.

An autopsy revealed he suffered a devastating brain injury due to lack of oxygen to the brain. The autopsy report found he had a high level of alcohol in his system on arrival at St Vincent's Hospital.

GP and medical reports found he had developed a serious adjustment disorder in the wake of his sister’s death and was experiencing acute stress due to the loss. He spent time in a psychiatric facility just weeks before his death and was due to follow up with his community health care team in Wicklow.

“He was obviously extremely distressed over the tragic loss of his sister,” Coroner Dr Crona Gallagher said.

“His suffering has ended but unfortunately yours has not,” Dr Gallagher told the family, returning a verdict of death by suicide.

 

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