Carbon monoxide led to death of hotel guest

Coroner Ciaran MacLoughlin.

An inquest has been unable to determine the source of carbon monoxide which caused the death of a Co Cork hillwalker in a Connemara hotel in October 2017.

However, a jury at the inquest into the death of Betty Harrington, a 64-year-old mother of five from Donoughmore, Co Cork, has recommended that carbon monoxide alarms be made mandatory in all hotel rooms.

The jury at the Coroner’s Court in Galway has also called on the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to give “full disclosure” on all reports to coroners.

Galway West coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin heard that Mrs Harrington was found dead in her hotel room in Oughterard on the morning of October 30, 2017.

In a statement, Mrs Harrington’s close friend Joan McCann of Waterfall, Co Cork, recounted how they travelled to Co Galway for a weekend in the Maaumturks and on Diamond Hill with the Bishopstown Hillwalking Club on Friday, October 27, 2017.

She was sharing a room with Mrs Harrington at the Connemara Lake Hotel in Oughterard, and they had a good day’s walking in separate groups on Saturday October 28.

Ms McCann recalled that Mrs Harrington went to bed around 1am on the morning of Monday October 30, but Ms McCann did not arrive back in the room until 6am.

She stated that she fell asleep, but woke up a few hours later feeling very nauseous, with “the bedroom spinning”, and she got sick.

Ms McCann said she thought it was something she had eaten. Nausea woke her up again around 10.30 to 11am, and she got dressed and went to the bathroom.

As she was worried about the time, she approached Mrs Harrington, put her hand on her left arm and it was cold.

See full inquest report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

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