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Saturday 19 October 2019

Woman took her own life on night before eviction

The Dublin Coroners Court, Store St. Pic Tom Burke.
The Dublin Coroners Court, Store St. Pic Tom Burke.

A woman found dead by sheriffs as they repossessed her home had died by suicide, an inquest heard.

Susan Ryan (41) was due to be evicted by appointment from her apartment at Longboat Quay North in Dublin 2 on Monday, October 21, 2013.

However, Dublin Coroner's Court heard that when sheriffs entered the Grand Canal Dock apartment, they found Ms Ryan, who suffered from depression and anxiety, lying dead in her bedroom.

Dublin City Sheriff's Office court messenger Paul Gray told the inquest that he arrived at the apartment at 11.55am along with a bank representative and locksmith engaged by the bank.

Garda Bronagh McArdle was also present to ensure there were no public order issues. The sheriffs were there to execute a court order for the repossession of the property.

Mr Gray said that Ms Ryan was aware of the order. On the previous Tuesday she had asked for more time to get organised before leaving the apartment.

"It was agreed to give her until Monday," he said, confirming that they had arrived on October 21 "by appointment".

Mr Gray knocked on the door a number of times and called out Ms Ryan's name but there was no response.

Using a key provided by the bank official, they entered the apartment.

Gda McArdle said that on entering the bedroom she found Ms Ryan "visibly pale in colour and was cold to touch" with no pulse detectable.

"There was a substantial amount of empty medication trays piled up at the bedside," she told the court.

The dead woman had spent the weekend in Wexford visiting her mother along with her sister Barbara Ryan, who told the court that everything had been "normal" with nothing out of the ordinary happening.

The deceased returned to Dublin the night before she was discovered.

When asked by coroner Dr Brian Farrell if her sister had mentioned the repossession, Ms Ryan said she had not.

"I asked her multiple times because I knew she was in and out of work ... but she was convincing me all was fine," she said.

Speaking from the body of the court, the deceased's father John Ryan said he saw Susan on the Friday before she died and she was "perfectly calm, in top form".

He said that, if anything, her demeanour had "improved" in the previous three months.

Dr Farrell said that, from pictures of the apartment, she appeared to have been living on "convenience foods".

Ms Ryan confirmed that her sister had not been looking after herself.

Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by suicide.

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