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Matthew Healy Garda Press Office

Tributes paid to 89-year-old man killed in Cork hospital attack

A man in his 30s was arrested by Gardaí yesterday.

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to an elderly patient of Mercy University Hospital in Cork, who was killed in a violent attack yesterday morning.

Matthew Healy, an 89-year-old widower from Berrings in Cork, was killed in an attack at the hospital shortly after 5.30am yesterday morning.

It is understood that the attack was carried out by another patient in the ward, with staff members intervening in an attempt to halt the attack.

Mr Healy was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested at the scene by Gardaí, with the assistance of the Armed Support Unit.

He remains detained for questioning by Gardaí at Bridewell Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

It’s understood that the two men were not known to one another before the attack took place.

Tributes paid

Tributes have since been paid to Mr Healy, with locals in the area describing him as a “gentleman”.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Looney said that he was a “thorough, thorough gentleman”.

“Certainly, one of the real gents and a real, real nice, kind man that you could ever meet.

“People are numb, to be honest with you, here in Berrings,” said Looney, speaking on Morning Ireland.

Labour Party 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 Mercy University Hospital.

“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.

The HSE’s Chief Operations Officer, Damien McCallion, offered his condolences to Mr Healy

“Our thoughts are with the Healy family this morning. It’s a terrible tragedy that no one expects when they go into a healthcare facility,” McCallion told Morning Ireland.

A spokesperson for Mercy University Hospital yesterday said that staff at the hospital were “saddened and shocked” at the attack.

“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. 

Mr Healy, a retired farmer, is survived by his two adult sons and a daughter, alongside his eight grandchildren.

- Additional reporting by Eimer McAuley and Olivia Kelleher

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