A Dad who spoke publicly about the loss of his 13-year old son in tragic circumstances died just 16 months later, an inquest has heard.
In a double tragedy for the Wilmot family, an inquest in Ennis has heard that Greg Wilmot (57) died in September of last year - 16 months after Greg discovered his son, Conor’s body on lands behind their home near the east Clare village of Sixmilebridge on a Thursday night in May 2017.
Mr Wilmot’s death leaves behind a 22 year old daughter, Melanie, a 12-year old son, Ross and a widow, Irina who were already grieving the loss of Conor.
[timgcapp=The late Greg and Conor Wilmot]GregWilmottRIP_large.jpg[/timgcap]
Speaking after the inquest, Irina said:
“There is a solution in life for everything - except death. You must realise that you are just leaving your problems for the people you leave behind to sort out.”
In the aftermath of Conor’s death in May 2017, Greg did a number of media interviews and posed for photos alongside Conor’s image.
Greg said at the time that Conor “died because of a stupid teenage accident gone wrong”.
Greg stressed that he was “absolutely certain” that Shannon 1st year secondary school student, Conor did not die of suicide.
An Australian-born IT consultant, Mr Wilmot said he was fairly sure that Conor “died as a result of a choking game” and said that he believed that Conor came across the game online.
At the end of Conor’s funeral mass, Greg Wilmot received a sustained standing ovation after singing and playing his guitar for a song entitled ‘Fly On’ that he penned in tribute to Conor in response to the tragedy.
Poignantly, a recording of Greg singing ‘Fly On’ at Conor's mass was played at his own funeral last September in the same church in Sixmilebridge where Conor’s funeral mass was held.
At Greg’s inquest in Ennis, his friend, Aidan O’Connor said in a deposition that “in May 2017, Greg’s son, Conor died in tragic circumstances and this hit Greg hard”.
Mr Wilmot’s body was found on September 2nd last year by Mr O’Neill after he searched near the family home after the alarm was raised by Irina.
Mr O’Connor told the inquest: “Conor’s anniversary was in May 2018 and you could see that Greg had struggled since Conor’s anniversary.”
Mr O’Connor said that he knew Greg well and on August 28th last “I had a good chat with Greg. He admitted that he was depressed and that he had suicidal thoughts”.
Mr O’Connor said that Greg’s wife, Irina was in Portugal at the time “and Greg slept on my couch that night”.
Mr O’Connor had Greg over for dinner on August 30th “and we spoke for a good while”.
Mr O’Connor said that he had arranged to go hunting with Greg on September 1st but on the Saturday morning of September 1st he texted Greg to cancel the hunting as it was too calm.
Mr O’Connor said that Greg - who was last seen alive on the Saturday morning - did not respond to the text.
Mr O’Connor said that on the following day, he commenced a search for Mr Wilmot after Irina made contact with him with concerns as she could not contact Greg.
Mr O’Connor found Mr Wilmot’s body near Oatfield Church close to the family home at 9pm on the Sunday night, September 2nd.
Mr O’Connor said that he checked for a pulse but Mr Wilmot’s body was cold.
[readmore]921912/readmore]Garda Brian Begley of Ardnacrusha Garda Station told the inquest that he found a note at the scene and a number of empty packets of tablets scattered around the area.A post mortem found no alcohol in Mr Wilmot’s system.In her verdict, Clare County Coroner, Isobel O’Dea delivered a narrative verdict of Mr Wilmot dying of asphyxia due to a ligature around the neck.Ms O’Dea said that “in order to give a suicide verdict, I have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt” and she said couldn't do so.Ms O’Dea said that the note found at the scene was not dated. Ms O’Dea stated that in the circumstances of the evidence and the medication taken, “I am bringing in a narrative verdict that Mr Wilmot died of asphyxia due to a ligature around the neck”.Ms O’Dea told Irina and family members and friends present that Greg’s death “must have come as a huge shock”.Ms O’Dea praised Mr O’Connor for his efforts “as you were embarking on a mission you knew wouldn’t have a good outcome”.If you have been affected by this article, help and support is available from the Samaritans on freephone 116123, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Freecall Pieta House at 1800 247 247.