A BUNDORAN man who was found dead in a ditch just 200 metres from his home died by drowning, an inquest into his death has found.
Picture: Donegal Coroner Dr Denis McCauley
57-year-old Joseph White was found by friends after he had been missing from his home for two days. He was found on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
An inquest into Mr White’s death was heard at Letterkenny Coroners Court.
Taxi driver Patrick Maguire said he had collected Mr White from Sean Óg’s pub and dropped him home on the night of Sunday, December 8, 2019.
The taxi driver passed by Mr White’s house again around half-an-hour later, but there was ‘no sign’ of him.
“He had got in and out of the car at his own steam,” Mr Maguire told the inquest. “It was a bad night and it had been raining. He was quite drunk, but he wasn’t staggering.”
Gary Vaughan, a life-long friend of Mr White, told how he and Jimmy Gethins, another friend, went looking for Mr White after they discovered his house was empty.
“We were worried as he wasn’t there for two days,” Mr Vaughan said.
Around 200 metres from the house, on the road towards Kinlough, they found Mr White lying in a drain.
“We knew straight away he was dead,” Mr Vaughan said. They placed a jacket over Mr White’s head and alerted Gardaí.
Sergeant Hugh McCann told how he went to the scene and saw Mr White’s body, face-up, in a drain, two-foot deep, on the left-hand side of the road.
The lower part of Mr White’s body was covered in water he said.
It was Sergeant McCann’s view that Mr White had accidentally fell into the stream and was unable to get out.
There was no evidence that anyone else was involved or there had been a road traffic accident.
Coroner Dr Denis McCauley said that Mr White had died by drowning and returned a verdict of death by misadventure.
Dr McCauley said that severe heart disease and a high level of alcohol caused Mr White to drown more easily.
Dr McCauley thanked Mr White’s friends who went out looking for him in a ‘commendable’ act. He thanked Sergeant McCann and Gardaí for their thorough investigation, while conveying his sympathy to Mr White’s family.
Dr McCauley said: “This was the death of a young man in an unfortunate accident.”Tags: