Inquest hears former RTÉ librarian died after fall in Donegal

Frances McLaughlin (72) had been dead for up to 10 days before being found

Letterkenny University Hospital in Donegal

Letterkenny University Hospital in Donegal


A former RTÉ librarian had been dead for up to 10 days after a fall before she was found at her home in Co Donegal, an inquest has heard.

An inquest into the death of Frances McLaughlin, aged 72, heard how she had been dead between three and 10 days when she was found at her home in Letterkenny on January 11th, 2017.

The last people to see Ms McLaughlin alive were her sister Veronica and her husband Paul Trayers, with whom Ms McLaughlin had spent Christmas Day.

Donegal Coroner’s Court was told Mr and Mrs Trayers became concerned when they had not heard from Ms McLaughlin for some days and contacted her letting agent.

They entered her home at Harvey Close, on Newline Road, and found Ms McLaughlin on the floor of the living room.

Gardaí were called and Garda Sean McLaughlin, a nephew of the deceased woman, arrived on the scene. He said that his aunt was dead on the floor and was dressed for bed.

He said his aunt had moved back to Donegal about three years earlier, having spent most of her adult life working for RTÉ in Dublin.

“She has made a nice little life for herself. She had been in good health and her death was an absolute shock to everyone who knew her,” said Garda McLaughlin.

Ms McLaughlin’s remains were taken to Letterkenny University Hospital for a postmortem.

Pathologist Dr Catriona Gillon told the court she had suffered heart failure and also a fracture to the femur.

Dr Gillon said she could not tell if the fracture, which occurred as a result of a fall, came before or after Ms McLaughlin had suffered heart failure.

Coroner Dr Denis McCauley said his finding was that Ms McLaughlin died as a result of an accident.