Missing woman probably died by drowning - Coroner

Body of Blathnaid Timothy never found

Inquest heard that Blathnaid Timothy was seen on CCTV taking money from an ATM on St John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin before taking a taxi to Howth.

Inquest heard that Blathnaid Timothy was seen on CCTV taking money from an ATM on St John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin before taking a taxi to Howth.

Tue, May 21, 2013, 01:03


A woman who disappeared in December 2010 after withdrawing €60 from an ATM in Dublin and taking a taxi to Howth probably died by drowning, an inquest has found.

Although the body of Blathnaid Timothy (33) has never been recovered, Dublin City coroner Dr Brian Farrell said yesterday there was sufficient evidence to find she had drowned. He told her family he had applied to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to hold her inquest in the absence of a body and permission was granted on March 12th.

The inquest heard that Ms Timothy, Smith Hall, Camden Street, Dublin, was seen on CCTV taking money from an ATM on St John Rogerson’s Quay before taking a taxi on December 14th at about 8pm. Taxi driver John Boyle said he took her to Howth.

Jane Rickard, who had been walking her dog along Howth promenade, identified Ms Timothy as a woman she had seen walking toward the East Pier.

Aoife Murphy, her sister, said Ms Timothy “was not happy” and was suffering from back pain. She had spoken to her on the phone intermittently on December 13th, but could not get through to her phone on December 14th. She was not overly worried initially as this had happened before.

She called to Ms Timothy’s flat on December 17th and found her room empty. On her laptop, evidence was found that she had been visiting websites that indicated to her she was considering suicide.

Ms Murphy reported her missing to gardaí and showed them the laptop.

“My feeling was she was depressed,” Ms Murphy said, but she was conscious of the “stigma around it” and would not admit to it. She had given up her job the previous May because she found the travel and deadlines too stressful. She had no financial problems but she had stopped socialising.

“I think that her body is lost at sea,” she said. “I think that her body went into the sea at Howth.” She thanked gardaí “for what they did and the respect they’ve shown”.

Gardaí gave evidence that Howth Harbour and along the coast had been searched and that relevant authorities in England and the Isle of Man had been contacted through Interpol with no success.

Dr Farrell said it was probable Ms Timothy died by suicide, but it was not beyond a reasonable doubt. He returned an open verdict with death by drowning a probable cause.