Inquest hears ‘Stand up to Bullies’ found written on canteen wall following suicide of council worker

The phrase ‘Stand up to Bullies’ was written on the wall of a workplace canteen where a 43-year-old man took his own life.

Inquest hears ‘Stand up to Bullies’ found written on canteen wall following suicide of council worker

The phrase ‘Stand up to Bullies’ was written on the wall of a workplace canteen where a 43-year-old man took his own life.

Dublin Coroner’s Court
Dublin Coroner’s Court

Stephen Taylor from Ashbourne, Co Meath was employed as a park ranger by Fingal County Council.

He was discovered at a council depot around 11.30pm on March 4 2017 and later pronounced dead.

The father-of-one had been working that day but family raised the alarm when he failed to return home.

His wife Carmel Taylor said he was a man who ‘hated lies and stood up for the truth.’

He had taken two weeks off due to work related stress in December 2016.

Mrs Taylor said her husband talked about workplace bullying in a note he left for her.

“None of it was a surprise to me. It had gotten worse,” she said.

“That morning he went out the door and I never saw him again,” she said.

“I know he didn’t do this to hurt us. I think he was driven to it. I wonder did something happen that day that pushed him over the edge.”

Witness Pierce Keogh met Mr Taylor around 10am that morning.

“He felt isolated. He would make friends and then find they didn’t want to be seen talking to him. He thought he was being tracked,” Mr Keogh said.

The family phoned the council’s out-of-hours service when Mr Taylor failed to return home by 7.30pm. Their message was conveyed from a call-centre to council depot foreman Alan Carroll who was on-call. Mr Carroll rang his supervisor, who lived close by, to come with him.

Supervisor Ciaran Rooney said when he entered the canteen he saw the words ‘Stand up to bullies’ written in graffiti on the wall before discovering Mr Taylor.

He said the Tetra radio system used by park rangers has a tracking device.

He said the device is a Health and Safety mechanism introduced in June 2016. Park rangers can press an alert button to call for assistance.

He said this device is monitored by two different companies.

“There’s no live feed but we can go back and check it,” Mr Rooney said.

Asked what information CCTV footage at the yard revealed on the day of Mr Taylor’s death, Mr Rooney said he didn’t know because he didn’t look at it.

Asked why, as a supervisor, he did not view the footage, Mr Rooney said he was not asked to.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane adjourned the inquest at Dublin Coroner’s Court until October 15 to hear from further witnesses.

If you have been impacted by issues raised in this report please be aware of the following support services.Samaritans: Dial 116123, text 087-2609090, or email jo@samaritans.ie.Pieta House: Dial 1800247247, text ‘HELP’ to 51444, or email mary@pieta.ie.Aware: Dial 1800 80 48 48, or visit yourmentalhealth.ie

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