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Matthew Healy, 89
Mercy University Hospital Cork

Elderly patient who died after assault at Cork hospital is named

Gardaí are continuing to question a man in his 30s in relation to the incident.

LAST UPDATE | 22 Jan 2023

THE MAN WHO died in a violent assault at Mercy University Hospital in Cork in the early hours of this morning has been named as 89-year-old Matthew Healy.

Gardaí in Cork are continuing to investigate all of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Healy shortly after 5:30 am.

It’s understood he suffered an attack by another patient in a ward. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Matthew Healy was from Berrings in Co Cork. The retired farmer became a widower this month when his wife passed away.

A man in his 30s who was arrested at the scene is still being detained at Bridewell Garda Station in Cork, under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

A post-mortem examination was conducted this afternoon by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster at Cork University Hospital. Gardaí say details are not being released for operational reasons.

Both staff and patients at the hospital are believed to have witnessed the attack. Staff members at the hospital are shocked by what unfolded on site.  

The scene at the hospital remains preserved for forensic and technical examination by the Cork City Divisional Scenes of Crime Unit. 

A Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) has been appointed and a Garda Family Liaison Officer (FLO) continues to liaise with the family of Mr Healy.

A spokesperson for the hospital said they are providing counselling services to patients and staff affected by the incident. 

“This incident occurred after 5 am and Gardaí were immediately alerted,” the spokesperson added. 

They also expressed sympathy for the victim’s loved ones on behalf of hospital management and staff: 

“Management and staff at Mercy University Hospital, Cork are saddened and shocked at the tragic and unexpected death of an elderly patient in an incident at the hospital today and express their deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace,” they stated. 

Local councillors in Cork city have said that the city is in a state of “deep shock” following the incident. 

Cllr John Maher said: “This is terribly sad news and my thoughts are with the man’s family. 

Long time advocate for the elderly in Cork, Paddy O’Brien, has offered his condolences to the family of the deceased following the shocking incident at MUH.

“I just heard what happened on the news. I sympathise with the family of the man in this tragedy. For a man to go into hospital only to lose his life. I don’t know what to say.

The Mercy is a fine hospital. I spent a period there myself in 2020. But this is an awful, desperate tragedy. That poor man went in hospital with some illness and nobody could expect a tragedy like this to happen,” he said.

- With reporting from Olivia Kelleher 

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