Woman died as she soaked in bath

A 54-year-old woman died as she soaked in the bath with her book, an inquest has heard.

Catherine Farrelly from Gracepark Meadows, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, died on February 16, 2015.

The mother of four sons had a few drinks before she took her book upstairs to the bathroom around 7.45pm.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that her husband had died in 1999 after suffering a heart attack at the ALSAA swimming pool at Dublin Airport.

Ms Farrelly knocked on her son’s bedroom door and asked if he wanted to use the bathroom before she ran herself a bath.

“She was in good overall health,” said her son, Conor Farrelly. “She liked a few drinks. She had a few that evening but she was grand. It was nothing unusual for her, her form was fine.

Louise Burke, a friend and neighbour, said she called around most days to see Ms Farrelly: “I would go around most days to visit her. I was minding my mum, we were a support to each other.”

She sent a text to her friend at 7.40pm and when she got no reply, she felt she should pay a visit.

“Something inside me told me I should call around,” she said.

Ms Burke said she arrived at the house at 7.55pm. She looked around the house but could not find Ms Farrelly and began to get worried when her friend did not answer her calls. When she pushed opened the bathroom door she found her friend submerged in the bath.

“She was under the water,” said Ms Burke. “It was quite a deep Jacuzzi-type bath. Her book was there and some cigarettes.”

Emergency services were called as Mrs Farrelly’s son and his girlfriend, a nurse, performed chest compressions in a bid to save her life. She was brought to Beamount Hospital by Dublin Fire Brigade where she was later pronounced dead.

Ms Farrelly’s behaviour had been normal on the day of her death, the court heard. She made dinner for her sons, who lived with her, and had a few drinks before going upstairs to soak in the Jacuzzi, the court heard.

The cause of death was drowning, with elevated blood alcohol level as a contributory factor according to a post-mortem report.

There was no evidence of a heart attack or stroke or sudden collapse, said coroner Myra Cullinane.

She had suffered seizures in the past, according to her son.

“It’s impossible to know if she had a seizure as we cannot prove that at post-mortem. Either falling asleep and sliding down or having a turn, we cannot prove either,” Dr Cullinane said, returning a verdict of death by misadventure.


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