Pensioner ‘killed by falling rubble’

A Cork pensioner who was killed when a wall fell on him as he pottered around his garden died of blunt force trauma to his head, an inquest into his death has heard.

Billy O’Driscoll, 74, was crushed under rubble when a wall above the level of his property, at 4 St Patrick’s Quay, Bandon, Co Cork, collapsed on top of him, on September 15, 2014.

At Bandon Coroner’s Court, an inquest into Mr O’Driscoll’s death was opened and adjourned pending a criminal investigation into his death.

Garda Kieran Hayes, Bandon Garda Station, said he responded to the scene to discover “a man was stuck under rubble and blocks”.

“I observed lots of big concrete blocks which were collapsing and piling up against a shed in the back garden. Two people were trying frantically to remove the blocks,” Garda Hayes said.

A construction project was under way near the scene and it is understood a truck had delivered building materials close to the wall moments before it collapsed.

In the meantime, more emergency services, firemen and ambulance paramedics, arrived at the scene and began digging through substantial quantities of rubble to get to Mr O’Driscoll. “We moved the blocks, but he was pronounced dead,” Garda Hayes added.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Anne Bolster, who carried out a postmortem on Mr O’Driscoll’s body said: “The cause of death, in my opinion, was the result of a dramatic brain injury from blunt force trauma to the head due to the collapse of a wall.”

Adjourning the inquest, Coroner Frank O’Connell said: “The Health and Safety Authority has compiled an investigation file and have sent it to their legal department who will send it to the DPP.”

The inquest was adjourned to June 7, 2016.


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