Young mother died from blow to the head and strangulation

Criminal charges may be brought in relation to Amy McCarthys’ death in Cork, coroner told

Uniformed officers and forensic investigators at the scene on Sheares Street in Cork city in May Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

Uniformed officers and forensic investigators at the scene on Sheares Street in Cork city in May Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision


A young mother whose body was found in a derelict office in Cork city centre died from a combination of blunt force trauma to the head and manual strangulation, an inquest has heard.

Amy McCarthy (22) was found in a second floor room in a vacant office block on Sheares Street at the back of the Mercy University Hospital in Cork city by paramedics at around 7am on April 30th last.

The paramedics had been called after the emergency services were alerted by a man in the derelict office building after he tried to wake Ms McCarthy on Sunday morning but failed to rouse her.

Ms McCarthy was treated at the scene by paramedics but they were unable to resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor and gardai were called.

On Thursday at Cork Coroner’s Court, Det Insp Declan O’Sullivan said that criminal proceedings are being contemplated and an investigation file into the death is almost completed for forwarding to the DPP.

Det Insp O’Sullivan said in those circumstances, he was applying for an adjournment of the inquest under Section 25 of the Coroners Act to allow the DPP consider the file and any charges.

Cork City Coroner Philip Comyn granted the application and he adjourned the inquest for mention to December 14th, 2017 to see what progress has been made in terms of a criminal prosecution.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster told the inquest she had carried out a postmortem on Ms McCarthy, who was from Mount Carmel Road in Greenmount in Cork.

Ms McCarthy died from a combination of blunt force trauma, brain swelling and subdural bleeding due to multiple blows to the head in association with asphyxia due to manual strangulation.

All these factors contributed to Ms McCarthy’s death, which was complicated by acute alcohol intoxication, Dr Bolster told Cork City Coroner Philip Comyn at the Washington Street Courthouse.

Det Insp O’Sullivan told Mr Comyn a Garda liaison officer was assisting Ms McCarthy’s family and would update them on what had happened at the inquest and the state of the investigation.

Last month, gardaí arrested a 26-year-old man from East Cork at a location in the Midlands for questioning about the death of Ms McCarthy, who has a baby son named Adam.

The man was brought to the Bridewell Garda station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and questioned for 24 hours before being released the next day without charge.

Mourners at Ms McCarthy’s funeral Mass in April were told by her sister, Hayley, that “if love could have saved Amy, she would have lived forever” as so many people were so fond of her.

Ms McCarthy said her sister “had a heart of gold” and spoke of the devotion and care she showed her baby son.

“One memory that we will always cherish is Adam’s first Christmas - Amy had all Adam’s toys and to see his face on Christmas morning was just incredible - she loved him so much,” she said

“She always had a smile on her face after she had Adam and even though she isn’t here with us, there will always be a part of her that lives on in baby Adam and we will cherish him forever.”

Leading the mourners were Ms McCarthy’s parents, Brian O’Leary and Regina McCarthy, and her sisters, Gillian, Jessica and Hayley as well many of her friends from the Greenmount area.