Dr Margot Bolster, the assistant state pathologist, confirmed the cause of Amy McCarthy’s death as an inquest into the 22-year-old’s death was opened and adjourned yesterday.
Ms McCarthy, a mother of one from Mount Carmel Rd in Greenmount, Cork, was found by paramedics in a room on the second floor of a vacant office block on Sheare’s St in the city centre at around 7am on April 30.
The building has been used for some time as a squat, with several upper floors being used overnight from time to time by people who gained unauthorised access through a smashed ground floor window.
The alarm was raised on April 30 by a man in the building who had tried to wake Ms McCarthy but could not.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but despite the best efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead at the scene and gardaí were called. They sealed off the building and conducted an extensive forensic examination.
Extensive toxicology tests were also conducted on blood samples taken from the deceased.
Dr Bolster told Cork City coroner, Dr Philip Comyn, yesterday that an autopsy she conducted on the remains at Cork University Hospital established Ms McCarthy had died from a combination of blunt force trauma to the head, with brain swelling and subdural haemorrhage due to multiple blows, associated with asphyxia due to manual strangulation, complicated by acute alcoholic intoxication.
Detective Inspector Declan O’Sullivan told the inquest that Garda investigations into Ms McCarthy’s death are almost complete and criminal proceedings are being contemplated.
He applied for and was granted an adjournment of the inquest pending the completion of the Garda probe and any possible directions from the DPP.
Dr Comyn agreed to adjourn the inquest for mention again in December.
Detectives investigating the death arrested a 26-year-old man, who was known to Ms McCarthy, in the Midlands on August 1 for questioning about her death.
He was brought to the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork for questioning and was subsequently released without charge.
Det Insp O’Sullivan said a Garda family liaison officer had been appointed and would keep Ms McCarthy’s family informed of developments.
Ms McCarthy’s sister, Hayley, told mourners at her funeral that “if love could have saved Amy, she would have lived forever” because so many people were so fond and caring towards her.