Sunday 23 October 2016

Homeless Jonathan died of drug, alcohol abuse outside Dail

Jonathan Corrie
Jonathan Corrie

Homeless man Jonathan Corrie, who was found dead only metres from the Dail, died of a "multi-drug overdose".

An inquest yesterday into his death heard how the father-of-two had been sleeping rough on the streets of the capital and was killed by a drug and alcohol mixture.

His body was found on a doorstep near the Dail on December 1, 2014, and his death led to a public outcry.

Dr Christian Gulmann, a pathologist at the Dublin city morgue, said there was no evidence of hypothermia and believed Mr Corrie's death was caused by a multi-drug overdose.

Sophie Pigot, a worker in a nearby bank, told Dublin Coroner's Court that she was walking to work when she noticed a man lying on the steps of a doorway on Molesworth Street in an "uncomfortable position" at around 8am.

"I put my hand on his back to see if there was a reaction," she told the court.

She immediately ran across to the Dail reception and told the garda who was on duty that there was a man in trouble and that she was not sure if he was alive.

Ms Pigot said the garda told her he could not leave his post outside Leinster House but would radio the information to his colleagues.


"I ran back over and touched his wrist, I was pretty sure he was not alive," she said.

"I went across to Buswells Hotel and I said, 'A man has passed away outside, please may I have a table cloth to cover him?', and I went out and covered him."

Gda Jennifer Keyes, from Pearse Street Station, told the court she arrived on the scene with Gda Eoin Cooper after reports of a sudden death.

She said she discovered Mr Corrie face down and it quickly become apparent he was dead.

She said three doctors' letters were found with details of the deceased alongside a sleeping bag, a rucksack, small items of clothing, €50 and two syringes - one empty and one filled with blood.

Gda Keyes said their investigation learned that Mr Corrie "would normally sleep in that doorway" in the weeks before his death.

She said CCTV cameras do not cover the area of the street where Mr Corrie was found dead, and they were unable to narrow down when he went to sleep.

In a statement to the court, Mr Corrie's mother, Jean, said she learned of her son's death when Irish Independent reporters contacted her.

She said she adopted him when he was 11-months-old and he ran into difficulties in his late teens with incidents of petty crime.

The court heard he went to Dublin for drug addiction treatment.

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