Friday 17 November 2017

Drinking game is blamed in death of DJ who downed pint of whiskey

Tragic DJ Ross Cummins
Tragic DJ Ross Cummins

The dangerous internet craze Neknomination played a part in the death of a DJ (22), who died after he "threw back" a pint of whiskey.

An inquest into the death of Ross Cummins, from Stella Gardens, Irishtown, Dublin 4, heard that while the circumstances of his death did not fit the exact definition of the Neknomination drinking game, the craze had been a factor in his death.

Mr Cummins was found unresponsive on his friend's couch on February 1, 2014.

"The circumstances don't fit the definition of a Neknomination, but there was talk (at the party) of Neknomination and it seems that may have put the idea in his head," Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard how Mr Cummins went to his friend Alan Boland's house at Macken Street on Friday, January 31, 2014, where he drank alcohol and took cocaine with a group of friends.

One of the group, Alice Eccles, said Mr Cummins was in good form and was chatty. She met him for the first time that night.

"There was talk of Neknominations and Ross said, 'I could do that.' He filled a pint glass with whiskey and drank it down in a matter of seconds," she said.

Laura Byrnes told the court: "He downed it in one. We were pretty shocked when he did it. I remember talking to him after and it looked as if he'd had a stroke or something."

Both girls learned of Mr Cummins' death on Facebook the following day.

Alan Boland said he told his friend not to drink the whiskey "but he downed it in one go".

He said he placed his friend on a couch and took a picture of him and shared it on WhatsApp "to show how asleep he was".

When he woke the following morning his friend was "white as a ghost". Mr Cummins was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at 1.30pm.


The toxicology report found cocaine in his system, which was contaminated with levamisole, a worming medicine used on cows and horses.

The cause of death was cardio respiratory failure due to acute alcohol toxicity with cocaine.

The Cummins family paid tribute to their son after the coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

"He was a wonderful lad," the young man's father, Robert Cummins, said. "The cocaine was a total shock, we knew nothing about that," he added.

His two older brothers were too upset to attend the inquest, Ross Cummins' mother Jackie Cummins said.

"They did everything together. He is hugely missed by everyone," she said.

The deceased's girlfriend Niamh Murphy said he was full of life and fun. "He was always the life and soul of the party," she said.

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