Doctor saw ‘gas’ victim in hotel room

GARDAÍ are investigating reports the woman who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a Cork hotel was seen by a doctor hours before her death.

Miriam Reidy, 35, from Ballyhahill in west Limerick, who was staying at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale while on a hen party, sent a text to a friend in the early hours of Sunday morning saying she felt sick. She was seen by a doctor at around 5.30am and is understood to have been prescribed tablets for a stomach bug. She was found dying in the room less than eight hours later, with her sister, Patricia, seriously ill beside her.

Gardaí are also investigating if there is a link between that doctor’s visit and an earlier visit by a doctor to a couple staying in a room above the Reidys at around 11pm on Saturday.

A female guest, who was vomiting, complained of headaches, nausea and breathlessness, was admitted to Cork University Hospital (CUH). A close friend said she felt OK when she got air but she is certain she was affected by the same fumes which made Ms Reidy feel ill at 4.30am.

In a statement Trident management said under its procedures for dealing with sick guests, senior staff bring medical personnel to guest rooms when they are called.

“We can confirm that these procedures are adhered to on all occasions when a guest requests medical attention,” the statement said.

The condition of older sister, Patricia, who was sharing the room with Miriam, and who was rushed to CUH in a critical condition, improved yesterday from critical to stable. She is responding to family members who are at her bedside.

A postmortem was carried out on Ms Reidy’s body at CUH yesterday but further tests are needed. It could be several days before the results of crucial blood tests — to establish the levels of certain gases in the blood stream — are known.

Garda forensic experts spent yesterday examining the hotel room and external gas tanks and pipes which run close to the room where the Reidys were staying.

A HSA spokesman said they are liaising with the gardaí and awaiting the outcome of their investigation before deciding on whether to launch a full HSA investigation.

Engineering experts from England are expected on site today.

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