The circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a Mullingar father-of-three, Danny McCormack (aged 40) from Raithín Eoghan, within a few hours of an incident at the Mullingar Midland Regional Hospital’s emergency department on Saturday evening last, are to be fully investigated.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is to carry out a full investigation into all the circumstances of the man’s death following an incident at the hospital on Saturday evening, 23 March and the preliminary results of a post mortem examination, carried out at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore on Monday afternoon, by State Pathologist, Dr. Michael Curtis.
A separate investigation into the circumstances of his death is to be carried out by the Ireland East Hospital Group. (IEHG).
Mr. McCormack died after collapsing at his home following his release from garda custody. Family members say that he was distressed after he returned home, and showed signs of injury, and he had collapsed within a short time.
CPR was administered by a neighbour until four paramedics arrived in ambulances and took over efforts to resuscitate him. After emergency treatment at his home, he was rushed back to the hospital, but could not be revived and was pronounced dead.
A team of investigators from GSOC will now interview members of Mr. McCormack’s family, staff at the hospital and members of An Garda Siochána to ascertain the full details of the circumstances leading to his tragic death. CCTV footage from Mullingar Hospital will also be examined.
Members of his family say that Mr. McCormack was rushed by taxi to the emergency department at the hospital on Saturday evening, complaining of chest pains, and unwilling to wait for an ambulance. His wife followed after him on foot to the hospital, when she had obtained a baby sitter to look after her two young children.
He was involved in an incident at the hospital a short time later, they understood, and security staff and Gardai were called. He was then arrested and taken into garda custody and removed from the hospital.
Members of his family say there appeared to have been a verbal incident with a staff member as he sought help, before he was removed from the hospital and taken away by the Gardai.
His distressed wife had rushed on foot from the hospital to Mullingar Garda Station after his arrest, very concerned about her husband’s condition. When she got to the barracks, the Gardai had left to bring him home.
When he arrived home, his three children rang their mother to tell her to hurry home.
According to one of his brothers, Danny collapsed within about fifteen minutes of being dropped off at his home.
The official Garda press office statement, issued on Monday afternoon, said Mr. McCormack had had “an interaction with Gardai at a location in Mullingar” on Saturday evening.
They added that as this was now a GSOC investigation, they would be making no further comments. GSOC was notified of the incident on Saturday night by a Garda superintendent from Mullingar.
We understand that the preliminary results of the post mortem examination indicated he had died from heart failure.
On Monday evening of this week, 25 March, following the preliminary results of the post mortem examination, GSOC said the case had been upgraded to an investigation under Section 98 of the Garda Siochána Act 2005.
Topic was told by a spokesperson at Mullingar Garda Station on Monday afternoon that they were called around 8.10pm to the hospital and that Mr. McCormack was arrested in relation to a disturbance there, when he was asked to leave.
He was brought to Mullingar Garda Station and detained for a short time before being brought home. Some time later, they got a call from the ambulance service about a man’s sudden death.
The HSE said the hospital could not comment on individual cases. They were carrying out a review of the incident, in which the Gardai were called. They had no further comment.
The McCormack family say they are very concerned about the circumstances leading to his death and are seeking answers from the hospital and from the Gardai about all the events beforehand.
They say he was seen at the hospital, but was not treated before his arrest. He had been suffering chest pains for a few days before going to the hospital, and was very upset, and aware his father had died in middle age from a heart attack.
He was annoyed and worried, and they were unhappy that he had not received medical attention at the hospital, given his condition. He was not seen by a doctor.
Neighbours and acquaintances of the deceased were very upset and shocked over the circumstances of his tragic death and described him as an affable and friendly man who was very well regarded by everyone.
The deceased, husband of Hazel, was father of Daniel (18), Caragh (9) and Grace (5) and was predeceased by his father Frank. He is also survived by his mother Mary; his brothers, sister and other relatives, to whom sympathy is extended.