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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Mother tells inquest that son who overdosed 'should never have been let out of hospital'

Glen Murphy McNally died days after discharging himself. An open verdict was returned at the inquest.

A 20-YEAR-OLD man whose body was recovered from the Royal Canal discharged himself from hospital two days after taking an overdose.

Glen Murphy McNally, from Fairlawn Park, Finglas, Dublin 11 had a history of self harm and had attempted suicide the previous week by jumping in front of a car.

Relatives at an inquest into his death claimed ‘he should never had been let out of hospital.’

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard how Glen was ‘very badly affected’ by the death of his father and his uncle, both of whom were shot dead.

On 10 April 2014, he took a concoction of prescription drugs, self harmed and tried to hang himself.

He was brought to the Mater Hospital by ambulance. His cousin Conor said he had been smoking heroin in the days leading up to the overdose.

Glen was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Mater Hospital. During a psychiatric evaluation on the morning of 12 April, Dr Adam Emechebe said Glen denied trying to take his own life.

He denied any ongoing thoughts of suicide or self harm. He denied any active thoughts of suicide. He expressed remorse over the overdose. He said it was because he felt he needed something…to ‘get a buzz’.

Dr Emechebe felt Glen was fit to be transferred from ICU to the medical ward.

Glen’s mother, Jennifer Murphy, said she wanted her son detained under the Mental Health Act for his own safety.

“From my assessment and what he was saying, he did not present as clinically depressed at that time,” Dr Emechebe said.

Consultant Psychiatrist John Sheehan said medics were treating up to 800 overdoses a year. He outlined strict criteria to detain a person against their will including the presence of a mental illness and an immediate risk to self or others. A person cannot be detained if their primary problem is drug or alcohol addiction, he said.

“The person has to seek help. If they are using drugs at the same time it’s impossible to engage,” Dr Sheehan said.

“I think he just told the psychiatrists what they wanted to hear so he could get out and self harm again,” Jennifer Murphy said.

Toxicology results showed evidence of morphine, cocaine and an anti-depressant in Glen’s system. The cause of death was consistent with drowning and Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned an open verdict.

Helplines:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org 
  • Console  1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie - (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Originally published 7.30pm

Column: ‘He was given a clean bill of health, walked out of the hospital and took his own life’

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About the author:

Louise Roseingrave

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