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Saturday 10 December 2016

Son of former TD Charlie O'Connor died after multi-drug 'bender'

Charlie O'Connor holding a photo of his late son Robert
Charlie O'Connor holding a photo of his late son Robert
Charlie O'Connor

A son of former TD Charlie O'Connor died from multi-drug toxicity, a coroner has found.

Father-of-one Robert O'Connor (35) was found dead in his home at Rialto Cottages in Dublin 8 on April 19 last year.

An inquest held at Dublin Coroner's Court heard he died with a combination of heroin, alcohol, anti-depressants and sedative medication in his system.

He was found by his friend James Kidd, who has since died. Mr Kidd told Garda Barry Hanrahan he went to the house after a mutual friend asked him to check on Mr O'Connor because he was worried about him. The court heard Mr O'Connor had called Mr Kane three days before saying he wanted to go on a "bender".

Alarm

Mr Kidd told gardai he was concerned when there was no answer at the house so he slipped the lock on the door to gain entry. He found Mr O'Connor and raised the alarm.

Paramedics found no signs of life when they attended the scene.

The inquest heard from Mr O'Connor's father, former Fianna Fail TD Charlie O'Connor, who told the coroner his son had a problem with alcohol for which he had sought treatment and also had a long history of taking drugs.

He had a "very positive side", he said, and was attending college at the time of his death.

"The death of my son Robert came as a great shock to me but I will certainly remember the good and positive times we had together," he added.

Garda Hanrahan told the coroner that when he went to the cottage he observed drug paraphernalia. A belt with two sets of teeth marks was found later.

He became suspicious there was no television in the living room and later confirmed with Mr O'Connor's partner, who was away when he died, that there should have been one there.

She later reported other items missing. He said there were no "obvious signs of forced entry". It is unknown whether the items missing from the cottage were stolen or sold by Mr O'Connor, he told the coroner.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

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