Micheál O’Donoghue, 25, from Ross Road, Killarney, Co Kerry, was found dead on the morning of September 20, the day before Kerry won the 2014 title.
Spanish national Laura Lopez was cycling along the Royal Canal towards Cabra just before 8am when something in the water caught her eye. “I wasn’t sure what it was but when I looked closely, I could see a hand, and I knew it was a person.”
Mr O’Donoghue’s father, Harry, called for improved safety measures at Locke 6 along the canal, where an embankment had collapsed, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. “Just make it safer that’s all. It will save another life,” said Mr O’Donoghue.
Returning a verdict of death by misadventure, coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he would ask Waterways Ireland to examine the fallen embankment and consider installing a safety rail, lighting and warning signs.
Mr O’Donoghue had travelled from Kerry, on the Friday, with a group of friends. They rented an apartment in Parnell Square where they had a few drinks before walking to McGowan’s Pub in Phibsboro.
John O’Callaghan said he was with Mr O’Donoghue when he tripped down some steps and security asked him to leave. “I saw him trying a few taxis outside and presumed he’d be okay.”
Security worker Sean Egan said Mr O’Donoghue was asked to leave at 1.15am. “He was not causing any trouble, he just put his hands up as if he knew he had too much drink taken. I told him it was time to go and he agreed with me.”
An autopsy report confirmed the cause of death was drowning and revealed Mr O’Donoghue had a blood alcohol level of 322 milligrams per 100 millilitres, “an extremely high level of alcohol”, noted Dr Farrell.
Garda Graham Lockman said the young man had been walking in the opposite direction of Parnell Square. “He exited McGowan’s and turned left but it’s not clear how he got to the canal.”