Woman drowned in Howth after leaving psychiatric hospital in Fairview


The family of a woman who drowned in Howth were not informed of her death for almost a day after the psychiatric hospital where she was a resident failed to report her missing, an inquest heard yesterday.

Brenda Moran (65), Sutton, Co Dublin, was a long-term patient at St Vincent’s Psychiatric Hospital in Fairview. Her body was discovered near the Baily Lighthouse at Howth on April 13th last year. Ms Moran’s body was discovered just over 3½ hours after she was last seen leaving the hospital. However, her body was not identified until the next day when staff at the facility reported her missing to family and gardaí.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that Ms Moran had been an in-patient at the hospital for three years, having previously been in sheltered accommodation. At 12.50pm on April 13th, Ms Moran left St Vincent’s telling staff she would be back shortly. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Jogin Thakore told the court that nursing notes at 8.15pm on the night of Ms Moran’s disappearance showed staff had been sufficiently concerned by her failure to return that they attempted to contact next of kin.

Ms Moran’s family told the court they had not received any calls that night.

Ms Moran’s sister Aideen Walsh said she was first told by the hospital that her sister was missing at 8.15am the following morning and she instructed them to contact the gardaí. A postmortem revealed Ms Moran had died as a result of drowning.

The jury returned an open verdict.