Journalist and author Kate Holmquist died by drowning, inquest told

Hearing told of past struggles and note left for her family

Kate Holmquist pictured at home in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kate Holmquist pictured at home in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

An inquest into the death of the journalist and author, Kate Holmquist, has heard the 62-year-old American native died as a result of drowning.

Ms Holmquist, an Irish Times feature writer, had been reported missing by her family on August 4th, 2019, after she had not returned to her home at Lower Albert Road, Sandycove, Co Dublin.

A sitting of Dublin Coroner’s Court on Thursday heard her body was discovered on the morning of August 5th, 2019, by a man out walking on Dollymount Strand.

In a statement read out in court, Ms Holmquist’s husband, Ferdia MacAnna, said his wife had suffered from mental health issues, depression and addiction since 2003.

Mr MacAnna, a musician, writer and film director, said he and two of the couple’s three children had not seen her since they left to go into Dublin city centre on the evening of August 3rd, 2019.

He said there was no reply when he knocked on her door after they returned home but he left her alone.

Mr MacAnna said he assumed his wife had gone out when she was not in her room the following morning but became worried when she had not returned that evening and could not be contacted by phone. He and his family began searches along the seafront after he had checked his wife’s bedroom again and found a note she had left which indicated she was “feeling suicidal”.

An autopsy on Ms Holmquist’s body showed she had no underlying physical conditions which could have contributed to her death.

The coroner, Dr Cróna Gallagher, said a toxicology report revealed she had consumed a “high level” of medications as well as a “toxic level” of alcohol.

Given Ms Holmquist’s past struggles and the note left for her family, Dr Gallagher returned a verdict of death by suicide.

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