Eircom man found dead in river after night at pub
An Eircom worker, who disappeared after a night at the pub, was found less than 36 hours later drowned in a nearby river.
Alan Kelly (46) had been drinking with friends in a pub in Milltown in Dublin on the night of December 10 last.
He left the pub shortly after 2am to walk to his home on Patrick Doyle Road with a fellow Eircom worker and friend Christy Murphy, who lived on the same road.
Mr Murphy told an inquest how they had struggled to keep their balance in the icy conditions.
He said he kept asking Mr Kelly to walk on the grass on the way home as he was worried he might slip or fall on the snow and ice on the road.
He was walking ahead of Mr Kelly and looked back at one stage to check on him but couldn't see him. He went back down the road calling his name but heard nothing.
Mr Murphy explained how he had continued on ahead as he lived further down the road.
"I just thought he'd stopped for a pee as he often did that so I continued on my way home."
When Mr Kelly failed to turn up for work on Monday his boss John Cussen became concerned.
He sent another Eircom employee to Mr Kelly's house to check on him. That employee said the lights were on in Mr Kelly's house but there was no answer.
Mr Cussen became worried and contacted gardai and raised the alarm.
In the meantime a man out walking along the bank of the River Dodder had spotted a body caught in the centre of the river and alerted gardai.
A firecrew had to use special equipment to reach the body which was caught across a rock below a weir. Mr Kelly was wearing only his boxer shorts, sock and heavy walking shoes. His house and car keys were later found hanging on a bush.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell heard how the dead man had no history of self harm.
Mr Kelly's father Michael said his son had never shown any signs before of wanting to take his own life and that he doubted very much he would do that.
Dr Farrell said he was returning an open verdict as there was no conclusive evidence that Mr Kelly killed himself.