Man (36) found drowned in Clondalkin stream had a heart attack

By Louise Roseingrave

A 36-year-old man found dead in a stream near the Grand Canal suffered a heart attack, an inquest heard. Jason Walsh (36) of Kilcarry, Clonegal, Co Carlow was found dead in a shallow stream by a photographer exploring a disused lock-keeper’s cottage on March 1, 2015.

The location, near Lock 11, Clondalkin, was described as overgrown and off the beaten track.

dublin coroners court August 2016

Alan Daly and his wife were looking around the old house when they discovered a body in the stream a short distance away.

“There was a small clearing five or ten metres from the back of the house. I looked down and saw something in the water and immediately recognised it as a human body,” Mr Daly said. 

“The body in the water had no shoes or trousers on,” he said, adding that conditions were “dry, cold and starting to get dusk”.
The couple contacted Gardaí at Clondalkin who arrived at the scene 30 minutes later.

A post mortem examination revealed the man had suffered a heart attack in or around the time of his death. In his report, Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave the cause of death as drowning with a heart attack and severe heart disease as a contributory factor.

It is not known if the man entered the water and then suffered a heart attack or if he suffered a heart attack and accidentally fell in. Gardaí believe he removed his shoes and trousers, found around 100ft away, before he entered the water.

Mr Walsh had travelled to Dublin by train to buy heroin the day before he was found dead, the inquest heard.

In her deposition, his partner said he’d been using heroin for around 15 years.

The pathologist found scratches on the man’s head and face consistent with moving through foliage.

There was no evidence of violence or trauma.

A toxicology report found traces of metabolised heroin in Mr Walsh’s system, along with therapeutic levels of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. There was no alcohol in his system at the time of his death.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a narrative verdict setting out the circumstances of the death.

“He definitely had a heart attack in or around the time of his death,” the coroner said, warning family members to be aware of the relevance of their loved one’s death in terms of cardiac health.

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