Sheriffs found woman’s body during repossession

A woman found dead by sheriffs as they repossessed her home had overdosed on painkillers, an inquest heard.

Susan Ryan, aged 41, was due to be evicted by appointment from her apartment at Longboat Quay North in Dublin 2 on October 21, 2013.

However, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that when sheriffs entered the Grand Canal Dock apartment, they found Ms Ryan, who suffered from depression and anxiety, lying dead in the bedroom.

The Dublin City sheriff’s office court messenger Paul Gray told the inquest that he arrived at the apartment at 11.55am along with a bank representative and locksmith engaged by the bank. Garda Bronagh McArdle was also present to ensure there were no public order issues.

The sheriffs were there to execute a court order for the repossession of the property. Mr Gray said Ms Ryan was aware of the order.

On the previous Tuesday she had asked for more time to get organised before leaving the apartment.

“It was agreed to give her until Monday to get her stuff together,” he said, confirming they had arrived on October 21 “by appointment”.

Mr Gray knocked on the door a number of times and called out Ms Ryan’s name but there was no response.

Using a key provided by the bank official, he entered the apartment. Once inside the hallway, he could see into the bedroom and saw there was a person lying on the bed who he thought may be sleeping. He called Garda McArdle for assistance.

Ms Ryan had spent the weekend in Wexford visiting her mother along with her sister Barbara, who told the court that everything had been “normal” with nothing out of the ordinary happening.

“I thought she was in particularly good form,” she said.

Susan Ryan had returned to Dublin the night before she was discovered.

When asked by coroner Dr Brian Farrell if her sister had mentioned the repossession, Barbara Ryan said she had not.

“I asked her multiple times because I knew she was in and out of work how she was paying it, if she was paying it and she was assuring me she had spoken to the bank.

“I had concerns. I asked her but she was convincing me all was fine.”

The autopsy found Ms Ryan had taken an overdose of painkiller at 12 times the toxic level as well as a toxic level of one anti-depressant and a sub-lethal level of another.

Dr Farrell said that due to the levels of painkillers it seemed that Ms Ryan took her own life. He returned a verdict of death by suicide.


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