A Sligo resident who died from pneumonia and hypothermia in a steel container at Finisklin had his “own issues”, an inquest heard.Sergeant Philip Maree told an inquest into the death of Christopher Byrne of no fixed abode, on January 3, 2011 that it was a terrible tragedy which happened at a very cold time of the year.
The Dundalk native had been living in Sligo for some time and had his “own circle of friends”, the sergeant said.
Garda O’Reilly told the court that gardai got a call to go to the container shortly after 1am on the morning of January 3, 2011.
The garda said that the 44 year-old was found crumpled up in the container after officers had been alerted by a friend of his who was sharing the container with the deceased.
It was a very cold time of year, the inquest heard. The man was pronounced dead at Sligo General Hospital. The inquest was told the dead men had alcohol issues. A small amount of alcohol was found in his system.
Pathologist Dr Clive Kilgallen told the inquest that Christopher Byrne died from a combination of pneumonia and hypothermia.
Coroner Dr Des Moran noted that there were no family or friends present at the inquest. “But he is just as important as anybody else” the coroner said.
The coroner said it was a very sad situation that a person could pass away in such a fashion at a very cold time of the year.
Dr Moran said that the absence of family or friends at an inquest always created a “vacuum”.
“But I am sure that he had friends in the past and people that were important to him,” Dr Moran said.
The coroner noted that the dead man had an alcohol problem and remarked: “I suppose he needed it to have some solace.”
Sympathy was extended on the death of the man by the coronor and on behalf of all court officers.