Cork mother lost three sons to heroin, inquest hears

Carmel Kidney said she was bereft at the death of her son Alan who died in June 2017

Carmel Kidney of Ballincollig, Cork has lost three sons to heroin. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Carmel Kidney of Ballincollig, Cork has lost three sons to heroin. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

 

A mother has spoken of the sorrow of losing three of her sons to heroin overdoses over a three-year period.

Following an inquest at Bandon District Court in Co Cork, Carmel Kidney said she was bereft at the death of her son Alan who died  in June 2017.

Alan (44) lost two of his three brothers to heroin overdoses. John Kidney (37) died in September 2014 while his twin brother Fergus died in June 2016.

Ms Kidney was visibly distressed as she spoke briefly of the passing of three of her six children over a three-year period.

“I can’t bring them back. I am heartbroken as a mother. I am devastated. I have three funerals to pay for. It has been so hard for me here. It has torn us up — ripped us apart.”

The inquests into the twins’ deaths were held together. Alan Kidney had identified the bodies of his siblings following both of their deaths and attended their joint inquest.

Coroner for south Cork, Frank O’Connell, said the late Alan Kidney had been a witness at the inquest in to the death of his deceased brothers. He stressed Alan had been “an ordinary individual.”

Mr O’Connell said that there was often stereotyping in drug cases and that he had heard “good reports” of Mr Kidney.

He said he had never heard of three brothers dying of heroin overdoses describing it as being a very “difficult situation” for the family.

“I hope this is the end. Not just for the family but for the town. Somebody is supplying drugs in the town.”

Mr O’Connell said the case was quite shocking and that he clearly recalled the events of the previous inquest.

“We have never seen the likes of this before. Three brothers dying of heroin use. It is terribly sad. I have never heard of the like before let alone seen it.”

The inquest earlier heard from the aunt of the deceased, Josephine Kidney, who found Alan dead in a bedroom at her home in Knockbrogan Terrace, Bandon, at lunchtime on June 13th, 2017.

Alan had been living with her at the time of his death and a syringe was found near his body. Ms Kidney said she knew Alan was dead before she contacted the doctor as there was no sign of life.

Investigating garda Brian Barry said he was called to the scene and that he recovered a syringe from the bedroom. Mr Kidney was pronounced dead by a local doctor.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, carried out a post-mortem the day after the death. She said there was evidence of polydrug use. She said Mr Kidney died of a drugs overdose and would not have suffered in his final moments.

Mr O’Connell recorded a verdict of death by drugs overdose after he heard from Dr Bolster that Alan died from heroin, methadone and benzodiazepine use.

Alan Kidney is survived by his three children, his parents Carmel and Leo and a brother and two sisters. He was laid to rest at St Oliver’s Cemetery in Ballincollig, Co Cork.

Following his passing Carmel Kidney gave an interview to TV3 News and to several newspapers. A stonemason from Dublin heard of the passing of the trio and donated a headstone to the family.