Man (40) dies in waiting area of Tallaght hospital

Michael Hamilton says his brother was not homeless and ‘was dead a long time’

The brother of the man who was found dead at Tallaght hospital on Saturday has said “he was dead a long time” and that he was not homeless.

Brian Hamilton (40) from Crumlin was found dead in the waiting area of the hospital’s emergency department on Saturday afternoon. Gardaí said foul play was not suspected.

Mr Hamilton's brother Michael told Dublin Talks on 98FM on Monday he went to the hospital at around 4pm on Saturday to identify the body. He said his brother was not homeless despite being registered with the Simon Community and "had his demons".

“I could tell myself and I’m not a doctor, he was dead a long time . . . I could tell by the colour of his face, his ears were black, his neck was black,” he said.


“The doctor said they have him coming in on CCTV at 2am on Friday night. He was pronounced dead at 3.45pm.”

Michael said he was informed his brother got up once during the early hours of Saturday, went to the toilet and returned to his seat.

“He only moved once and the rest of the time he was motionless,” he added.

A statement from Tallaght hospital said the man was understood to have been sheltering at the hospital and had not sought medical treatment.

“He was in rehab, we weren’t even aware he had left, he was in residential care for his alcohol addiction and the only way we could get him into the Simon was to register him as homeless,” his brother said.

“That’s the only way you can get into these places is register as homeless. He wasn’t actually homeless.”

The Irish Times has contacted Dublin Simon Community for comment.

Lisa Henderson, who was waiting in the emergency department on Saturday said a nurse noticed Mr Hamilton slumped over a chair.

“He started trying to wake him and that, there was no response at all from him. He ran in the back and got other doctors and nurses and a stretcher came out and security came over,” she told the programme.

“The man was blue, his hands were blue, his face was blue, it was obvious he was gone. He was lifeless as they were lifting him on to the stretcher. There was a lady there, four hours there before me, and he was slumped over like that since she came in, hadn’t moved.”

Tallaght hospital said management at the hospital were co-operating with An Garda Síochána in their investigations and an internal review would also be initiated immediately into the circumstances of the incident.

“The hospital would like to extend their condolences to the family of the deceased.”

Stephen McMahon, chairman of The Irish Patients’ Association said “we have called for an investigation into all aspects of this very sad tragedy”.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times