By Gordon Deegan
A 10-year old Co Clare girl phoned her mother to say “Daddy is on the floor and we can’t wake him up” after finding her father in an unresponsive state in a sitting room.
That is according to evidence heard at the coroner’s court in Ennis where Clare Coroner, Isobel O’Dea returned a verdict of misadventure after hearing that Shannon man, Jonathan O’Sullivan (34) had taken a cocktail of drugs.
Ms O’Dea said that she was “absolutely satisfied” that there was no issue of suicide and that the cocktail of drugs in Mr O’Sullivan produced this dreadful effect. Ms O’Dea said that the level of heroin in Mr O’Sullivan’s system was not at a toxic level.
Ms O’Dea said that Mr O’Sullivan had injected heroin while consultant pathologist, Dr Terézia Laszlo also found evidence of other drugs in the man’s system.
Mr O’Sullivan’s partner, Jevgenia Grigorjan had her baby of a few months with her at the inquest. Ms O’Dea expressed her sympathy to Ms Grigorjan and remarked: “This little man here who I think never had a chance to meet his dad.”
In her deposition, Ms Grigorjan said that just after midnight on November 26 last year at her home at Inis Eagla, Shannon, she came downstairs to find a syringe in Jonathan O’Sullivan’s hand in the sitting room.
She said: “I took the syringe and a small spoon and burned it in the fire. I left Jonathan unconscious on the couch.”
Ms Grigorjan added: “I came back downstairs at around 3 or 4am and I could hear Jonathan snoring in the sitting room. I didn’t see him and I just went into the kitchen and back to bed."
Two of Jonathan’s daughters from a previous relationship were staying at the house that night and at around 9am on November 27, Mr O’Sullivan’s two daughters found him unresponsive in the sitting room.
Ms Grigorjan said she went downstairs and helped conduct CPR on Jonathan until the emergency services arrived.
The mother of Jonathan’s two daughters and partner of eight years before his new relationship, Sarah Curran, also gave evidence.
She said that her two daughters were staying with Jonathan’s partner, Jenny and her kids at the weekend.
She said that at around 9.30am on November 26, she received a call from her 10-year-old daughter.
Ms Curran said: “She told me 'Daddy is on the floor and we can’t wake him up'. I told her it would be okay and I would be there.” Ms Curran said that when she got to the home, her two girls were at the front door and a neighbour took them away.
Ms Curran took over the CPR until the paramedics arrived. She said: “I observed no sign of life.”
Mr O’Sullivan was officially pronounced dead at 10.50am.
Dr Laszlo said that the morphine in Mr O’Sullivan’s blood was not at a toxic level, but was at a top level of a therapeutic dosage. He added that Mr O’Sullivan’s cause of death was sudden respiratory failure secondary to pulmonary edema haemorrhage due to combined drug abuse.
Dr Laszlo also stated that Mr O’Sullivan had an abnormal and enlarged heart.