Killer ‘stabbed himself in the neck’

A man who was found guilty but insane of the murder of his mother died after stabbing himself in the neck, an inquest has heard.

Sean Fahy, 51, formerly of Ballindooley, Headford Road, Galway, was pronounced dead at St Vincent’s Hospital on June 24, 2013, shortly after being found slumped over in a Portaloo at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Dundrum.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard a knife was lodged in his neck when he was found.

Fahy had been detained at the CMH since 2005 after the killing of his 78-year-old mother Margaret Fahy at her home on September 11, 2001. He was an alcoholic and schizophrenic. Detective Garda Barry Murphy told the inquest “he believed that she had been poisoning his food and that she represented evil”.

On the day of his death, Fahy was taking part in a garden project at CMH, starting at 10am. Clinical nurse manager Jimmy Germaine said patients were weeding and Fahy did not want to take part so he was assigned to tidy the canteen area. This was not unusual, Mr Germaine said, because Fahy did not like gardening but enjoyed the interaction with other patients.

Mr Germaine said that, just before 11am, two of the patients beckoned to him to come to the garden portaloo. Mr Germaine said Fahy was slumped on the toilet, fully clothed.

Fahy was unresponsive at all times and pronounced dead shortly after arrival at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Det Gda Murphy said he was satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances.

All CMH staff who gave evidence said the knife used was not of a type they had seen in the hospital before. The “strongest possibility” is that the knife came from a refuse truck collecting recyclables from the CMH, the court was told.

The jury returned an open verdict.

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