Expert report on Naas Hospital Fire death not available to coroner, inquest hears

Three investigations into fatal ambulance incident

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Expert report on Naas Hospital Fire death not available to coroner, inquest hears

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A expert report on the circumstances surrounding the death of a Suncroft man who died following a fire in a ambulance at Naas General Hospital in September 2016 has been sought by, but not yet been made available to, the the Kildare Coroner, Dr Denis Cusack, an adjourned inquest heard on December 10.

The inquest in to the death of 78 year old  Wicklow native, Christopher "Christy" Byrne, from Ard Bríd, in Suncroft, The Curragh, began on September 19, 2017.

Mr Byrne died when he was being brought to Naas General by ambulance on Thursday, September 22 2016.

A fire broke out in the vehicle at the entrance to the hospital Emergency Department.

Two paramedics were injured in the incident.

At the initial inquest, it was heard that there was the possibility that the fire may have been caused by an oxygen canister. It also  heard evidence of identification and medical evidence as to the cause of death.

On December 10 last,  the adjourned inquest was told that there are currently three investigations into the incident -  one by the Gardai, another by the Health & Safety Authority and the inquiry by the Kilcock Coroner.

Dr Cusack said that the Health & Safety Authority currently is not willing to share an expert report on the accident.

Dr Cusack said it was a “significant problem” not having the expert report available to him. He said he has engaged Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to the duty to investigate suspicious deaths.

Following lengthy discussions, both in public and with some of the parties  in private, Dr Cusack adjourned the inquest to next March and requested the expert report to be provided to him.

A resolution must be sought by all the parties, within their respective legal jurisdiction, he said.