Tax pressure cited at Kilcock inquest

FINANCIAL pressures including worries over tax payment were among the issues facing a popular Kilcock business man who died in tragic circumstances, an inquest at Naas was told.

FINANCIAL pressures including worries over tax payment were among the issues facing a popular Kilcock business man who died in tragic circumstances, an inquest at Naas was told.

The town of Kilcock was shocked when news of the death of Mick Cotter on Tuesday, 6 December 2011 emerged.

At an inquest presided over by the Kildare Coroner, Dr Denis Cusack, on 14 May, the verdict was that death was self inflicted.

Dr Cusack said he was dealing with an increasing number of deaths were people were under stress for financial reasons.

Mr Cotter (40) was found dead at 197 Chambers Park, Kilcock.

Garda Tom Millner told how he was called to the scene and found three other Gardai present.

Mr Cotter’s girlfriend, Therese Flood, described how the Kilcock barber had felt under increased pressure from the Revenue Commissioners and the credit union, which he had always paid in the past.

They had started going out together in September 2004 and after she finished college in the UK they moved in together in 2007.

They subsequently split up.

She said Mr Cotter was under pressure financially and it had been an “uphill struggle” for him for some time.

She spoke of how he had tried to harm himself before his death and how good friends, Declan Coyne and Joe Nally, had kept a watch over him.

She said the Revenue Commissioners told him he owed €1,500 and was threatening to shut down his business. A financial plan was to be set up.

She also said he smoked cannabis a couple of times a week and at one point he was drinking too much. He denied being on harder drugs and she suggested he speak to a counsellor.

The pathologists report said that there were no illegal drugs in his system nor was there any alcohol.

But two prescribed drugs were above prescribed levels.

Ms Flood said she knew Mr Cotter was hurt over their break up and she told him on Sunday, 4 December, two days before his death, that they were not together. She said he was convinced she was seeing someone else but she could not get through to him that was not the case. She recalled that while talking about it they both cried together.

She said her mother had advised Mr Cotter to talk to solicitor, David Powderly, about the Revenue commissioners and he had said he would go and see a doctor in Maynooth.

It was Ms Flood who found him on the day of his death and she tried to revive him for half an hour after calling an ambulance.

Dr Cusack said we were seeing more young people dying in such tragic circumstances and even with support they see no other solution. For those left behind there was a loss, a gap, a sense of emptiness, and possibly anger. “You do not expect something like this to happen. I hope it will get better for you. Try and remember the better times,” he said.

Garda Supt. Pat Mangan also sent his sympathies on behalf of the gardai to Mr Cotter’s family, including his children, and friends.