herald

Sunday 23 September 2018

Carbon monoxide leak 'not ruled out' as cause of death of hotel guest

Emergency services attend the scene after a guest died at the Connemara Lake Hotel
Emergency services attend the scene after a guest died at the Connemara Lake Hotel

Investigators examining the death of a guest at a Connemara hotel have not ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning.

Breda 'Betty' Harrington (64), from Donoughmore, in north Cork, was found dead in her room in the Connemara Lake Hotel.

The hotel remained closed yesterday as investigators searched for clues.

A source last night told the Herald that it was too early to determine the cause of death but that carbon monoxide poisoning was a possiblility.

"It's too early in the examinations to say what the cause of death was," he said.

"A number of different aspects will have to be looked at."

Ms Harrington's body was found shortly after 11.30am on Monday and emergency services were alerted.

Hospital

Other guests were evacuated after reports that a number of people had fallen ill.

Several guests presented at the emergency department at University Hospital Galway later in the day.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) sent investigators to the hotel after gardai notified it of Ms Harrington's death.

However, a spokesman for the authority said it was not yet investigating the incident.

"We are aware of the death and have people at the scene. We are currently examining the circumstances of the incident and whether the death was as a result of any work-related activity," said the spokesman.

"This will determine whether a HSA investigation will follow."

Ms Harrington was on a trip to the area for the bank holiday weekend. It is understood her relatives are regular visitors.

Her body was removed to University Hospital Galway, where a post-mortem examination was expected to be carried out last night.

Gardai in Salthill, who are investigating the death, said they are awaiting the results of the post-mortem examination and the initial assessment of the scene by the HSA.

Tragically

They said they were not treating the death as suspicious at this point and the course of their investigation would be determined by the outcome of the post-mortem examination and the HSA assessment.

Gardai also confirmed they had taken details from those hotel guests that attended the University Hospital Galway yesterday.

"The Connemara Lake Hotel confirms that a guest tragically passed away while staying in the hotel over the weekend," a statement on the hotel website said.

"The hotel is closed until further notice while an investigation takes place by the Garda Siochana.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased, their family and friends."

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