herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Tragic mum froze to death

A YOUNG mother froze to death in her Dublin flat after the council refused to restore her heating.

Rachel Peavoy (30), a mother-of-two, died of hypothermia in the bedroom of her flat during a lengthy cold snap.

She had appealed to the council to restore her central heating as she shared the flat with her two young sons, but she was unsuccessful.

Housing Minister Noel Ahern made representations on behalf of Ms Peavoy, after she was told her heating would not be reconnected.

She was found dead in her Ballymun flat on January 11 last year. Gardai who arrived at the scene noted the flat was "freezing".

Following the shocking inquest, a doctor has called for a public inquiry into the death of the mother-of-two.

A preliminary hearing at Dublin City Corner's Court was told of Rachel's appeals for help to heat her flat.

The inquest was told that less than a month before she died of the cold, the young mother had gone to her doctor and asked for a letter for heating costs.

Housing Minister Noel Ahern also made a plea to the council on her behalf. The court heard that the council told the young mother that it was 'impossible' to restore heating because flats around her were vacant and because regeneration work was ongoing.

The case involved "a young woman with no other system disorder" dying of hypothermia and there was "ample evidence" that the heating was not working, said Dr Ciaran Craven, who represented the family at the inquest.

Calling for a full inquiry into the death, Dr Craven told Coroner Dr Brian Farrell that the flat had been "perilously cold" on the night of the death.

He called for a full inquiry into the death.

The inquest was told Ms Peavoy suffered from back pain and had a borderline personality disorder.

Brother

She had last spoken to her mother, Celine, the day before she was found dead.

She had asked her mother to mind her two sons, Leon and Warren, and said she was turning her phone off because she could not sleep. The next day, after numerous attempts to contact Rachel, her brother Leon Peavoy and friend Jacqueline Johnston let themselves into her flat. They found her body in the main bedroom.

There was no representative from Dublin City Council at the hearing yesterday.

The inquest was adjourned until February 24 to obtain further statements about the conditions of Ms Peavoy's flat.

hnews@herald.ie

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