Cause of Elaine O’Hara’s death not determined, inquest hears

Coroner’s Court told dental records leave ‘no doubt’ remains belonged to Dublin woman

The cause of death for Elaine O’Hara whose body was found in the Dublin mountains last September has not been determined, the Coroner’s court heard today.

The cause of death for Elaine O’Hara whose body was found in the Dublin mountains last September has not been determined, the Coroner’s court heard today.

Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 11:30

The cause of death for Elaine O’Hara, whose body was found in the Dublin mountains last September, has not been determined, the Coroner’s Court heard today.

Dental records alone were used to establish beyond doubt that the remains found were those of Ms O’Hara, the court heard.

Members of Ms O’Hara’s family - including her father Frank, her sister and brother-in-law - today attended the opening of the inquest into her death.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis’s postmortem report found the cause of her death was “undetermined” at this stage, Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said.

There was “no doubt” the remains found at Kilakee were those of Ms O’Hara, according to a report received by Dr Farrell from forensic odontologist Dr Mary Clarke.

No DNA was used to establish the identity of the remains, Inspector Brian Duffy of Blackrock Garda station told the hearing. Identification was “purely” from dental records, he said.

Dr Farrell asked Ms O’Hara’s father if he wanted a death certificate.

Mr O’Hara replied: “It might be useful to have it.”

Dr Farrell said he would register her death and this could be amended if necessary in due course to reflect the cause of death.

Mr O’Hara asked the coroner if the exact date of death had been determined.

Dr Farrell said the death certificate would not contain date of death, but this could also be amended if established.

Ms O’Hara, of Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, was declared dead on September 14th 2013, a day after her remains were found in the Dublin mountains, the inquest heard . She went missing on August 22nd, 2012.

Dr Farrell asked Mr O’Hara if 37 was his daughter’s correct age. He replied that she was 36 when she disappeared and would have been 37 on the date her remains were found.

Dr Farrell expressed “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the family on behalf of the “whole community” for their loss and said he could not make any other comment at the moment.

Dr Farrell said he was formally opening the inquest today to assume jurisdiction and to hear preliminary evidence.

Insp Duffy requested an adjournment because a person had been charged before the courts . The proceedings lasted 10 minutes and Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest until criminal proceedings are completed.