Recluse ‘died of a broken heart’

A woman, who was a recluse, allowed no one into her home and had died several weeks before she was found, an inquest heard.

Maureen Fallon, aged 61, of The Laurels, Terenure, Dublin, was found dead in her home by neighbours on April 17, 2015. Vibrant and fun in her youth, a relative told Dublin Coroner’s Court she believed the woman had died of a broken heart.

Originally from Co Mayo, Ms Fallon was described as outgoing and active in her youth. She had been due to be married but the engagement was broken off a few weeks before the wedding.

“I would say she died of a broken heart, of the disappointments in her life. She never opened up or sought help. She had a broken engagement a few weeks before the wedding and that might have triggered something. She was bright, vibrant and outgoing in her youth,” a relative stated.

Ms Fallon’s brother, Martin Fallon, said she had been a recluse for years and never left the house. She had to be ‘begged to attend’ their mother’s funeral five years ago, he said. That was the last time he saw her.

She refused neighbours, gardaí and relations entry to her home.

“I felt she was badly depressed. I begged her to let someone help her but she refused all help,” said the relative from Co Mayo.

Neighbour Hazel Kilpatrick told the inquest she was gardening and decided to cut Ms Fallon’s lawn as she normally did. She noticed a kitten at the window which, she said, was unusual.

“I went over to see how the kitten got in,” she said.

She and two other neighbours entered the house through the back door, which was open and found the deceased on the stairs.

The body was in an advanced state of decomposition and cause of death could not be established, according to the postmortem report. There were no signs of trauma.

The house was in a terrible state, Garda Niall Hogan tesitified.

“There were hundreds of unopened letters going back three years,” he said.


Halloween has really upped the ante in recent years here, hasn’t it?We have moved on considerably since the days of a bin liner fashioned with holes for arms and necks

Sandhoppers for breakfast? It’s just not cricketCrickets for lunch anyone? Time - is running out - to get over our western food prejudices

Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?, asks Richard CollinsDid ear and chest infections wipe out our neanderthal ancestors?

Corkbeg Island near the mouth of Cork Harbour is today an industrial location with Ireland’s only oil refinery whose silver cylinders dominate the low-lying island like giant mugs, writes Dan McCarthy. Islands of Ireland: 'Tanks' for the memories Corkbeg

More From The Irish Examiner