Green v McLoughlin

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Johnson
Judgment Date01 January 1991
Neutral Citation1990 WJSC-HC 1937
Docket Number[1989 No. 87 JR],No. 87 Judicial Review/1989
CourtHigh Court
Date01 January 1991

1990 WJSC-HC 1937

THE HIGH COURT

No. 87 Judicial Review/1989
GREEN v. MCLOUGHLIN
(JUDICIAL REVIEW)
BETWEEN/
THOMAS FRANCIS GREEN
APPLICANT

AND

KIERAN McLOUGHLIN
RESPONDENT

Citations:

CORONERS ACT 1962 S26

MCKEOWN, STATE V SCULLY 1986 ILRM 133

CORONERS ACT 1962 S30

CORONERS ACT 1962 S40

Synopsis:

CORONERS

Inquest

Scope - Restrictions - Evidence - Relevance - Civil or criminal liability irrelevant to verdict - Deceased - State of mind - Jurisdiction of coroner - Coroners Act, 1962, ss. 30, 31, 39, 40 - (1989/87 JR - Johnson J. - 1/12/89) - [1991] 1 I.R. 309

|Green v. McLoughlin|

EVIDENCE

Admissibility

Relevance - Death - Inquest - Scope - Restrictions - Civil and criminal liability - Exclusion - Deceased's state of mind irrelevant - (1989/87 JR - Johnson J. - 1/12/89) - [1991] 1 I.R. 309

|Green v. McLoughlin|

1

Judgment of Mr. Justice Johnsondelivered the 1st day of December, 1989.

2

This case comes before the Court by way of an application for Certiorari and other reliefs to remove and quash an inquisition, and verdict of an inquest held on the 13th day of October, 1988 on the body of Vivian Green, deceased, by the Respondent as Coroner for West Galway sitting with a Jury. As appears, from the uncontested Affidavit, the deceased Vivian Green died on the 10th day of May 1988 aged 28 years. He died as a result of a gunshot wound which appeared at the time, and from all the events to have been self inflicted.

3

In the course of the initial hearings of the case, which were before the Respondent sitting without a Jury, the Respondent sought to introduce medical evidence basically forthe purpose of ascertaining the mental condition of the deceased at the time of or prior to his death. The Solicitor for the Applicant objected to the summoning of additional doctors for this purpose pursuant to Section 26 of the Coroners Act 1962. At the request of the Respondent the Pathologist gave evidence regarding the autopsy, and indicated that he was of the opinion that death was caused by shock due to the extensive destruction of the brain and bones of the skull resulting from a bullet wound from a .22weapon.

4

The Respondent then, at the end of that evidence indicated he wished to have the Respondent's mother give evidence. It was pointed out by the Solicitor for the Applicant, pursuant to the provisions of Section 30 of the Coroners Act 1962, that the Respondent was not permitted to consider questions of criminal or civil liability and that as the evidence might be given in this matter would involve the investigation as to not just what had happened, the identity of the person who has died, when and where the death occurred, but would deal with matters dealing with his mental condition and why the death had occurred. The inquest was then adjourned until the 30th of June 1988.

5

On the 30th of June 1988 there were two medical witnesses present. The Respondent indicated he wished to call Doctors Joyce and McDonagh. Once again objection was taken by the Solicitor for the Applicant and the Respondent expressly put the view that he wished to call Dr. McDonagh because he was in a position to give evidence about the state of health of the deceased prior to his death. It was necessary to call Dr. Joyce because he had seen the deceased immediately afterhis death. After some further debate the matter was finally adjourned to October the 13th 1988 and was resumed in Galway Courthouse. The evidence was then given. Dr. Connolly was again called and indicated that the gun had been exactly one inch from the point of entry when the explosion went off. Detective Garda Carroll gave evidence regarding the fact as to whether or not the gun could have been discharged accidentally. In addition Dr. McDonagh gave evidence regarding the mental condition...

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