14 Aug 2022

“When do we say enough is enough?”

Death of Meath man in Carrick-on-Shannon

“When do we say enough is enough?”

The Coroner's Court was held last week in Carrick-on-Shannon.

An open verdict was delivered into the cause of death of a man from Navan, Co. Meath in Carrick-on-Shannon last year. The Deputy Coroner stated the death should not have happened and questioned the culture of drink and drugs in this country.

The non-jury Coroner's Court held in Carrick-on-Shannon last Thursday, February 9, heard evidence into the death of Colm Boylan, Neilstown, Bohermeen, Navan, Co. Meath.

The 33-year-old father of three was attending a stag party in the town at the time of his death. His body was recovered from the River Shannon on Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

The court heard evidence from the post mortem investigation which showed evidence of benzodiazepines and cocaine in Mr Boylan's system. The ethanol (alcohol) reading was 264 mcgs which the Deputy Coroner described as “very, very high.”

A deposition from Peter Brady was read out in court which said they were a group of about 40 men on a stag party in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday, July 16, 2016.

They arrived in the town at 5.15pm and had a few pints before checking into their apartments. They went into town at 9pm and drank in two or three pubs where Mr Boylan was drinking pints of Budweiser. Five of them went to another pub and were drinking vodka and Lucozade.

He said he had a missed call from Mr Boylan at 1.19am and he called him back at 1.20am and spoke to him for eight minutes.

Mr Brady said Mr Boylan had lost his mother and father and “was in a bad place.” He said Mr Boylan had once said he felt like jumping into the Blackwater river near where he lived.

Cathal McLoughlin gave evidence of searching for Mr Boylan the next morning before getting the bus back to Navan at about 2.30pm. He said Colm Boylan was in good form at the stag and was “happy out” and “not too drunk.”

Garda David Murray gave evidence of being on duty on Tuesday, July 19 when a body was discovered close to the slipway at Cortober, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon at 12.35pm.

The body was removed to the Emerald Star slipway where Mr Boylan's brother identified him. Dr. David Greene pronounced him dead at 2.06pm and found no signs of trauma to his face, hands or chest.

The autopsy report concluded Mr Boylan may have had a sudden cardiac death and fell into the water. It is possible he entered the water accidently.

Deputy Coroner, Fergal Kelly, described it as a very sad case that happened on what was meant to be a very happy occasion.

“It shouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, there was alcohol and drugs involved and if they were limited, we may not be here today,” he said.

Mr Kelly said in Ireland there is a culture of drink and drugs. “When do we say enough is enough?” he asked.

Mr Kelly returned an open verdict in the case which he explained must be given when the cause of death can't be determined.

Both he and An Garda Siochana expressed their sincere sympathy to the family of the late Colm Boylan.

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