A 78-year-old man who died in hospital last November from head injuries sustained when he fell on Croagh Patrick, the previous day, was commended by a coroner today  for his “selflessness” in donating his body to medical science.

Patrick O’Connor, Coroner for the District of Mayo, echoed the praise directed by pathologists earlier at the late Pat O’Mahony, a former Chairman (1996-2010) of the Irish Medicines Board.

Dr. Tamas Nemeth, the pathologist who carried out a post mortem, wrote in his autopsy report, which was read into the inquest hearing by his colleague, Dr. Fadel Bennani, that it was “deeply commendable” that Mr. O’Mahony had donated his body for medical  research.

Dr. Nemeth wrote: “This selfless act contributed significantly to the advancement of medical science.

“His contribution will aid in the education of medical professionals and researchers, potentially saving and improving countless lives in the future.

“His generosity in making such a decision reflects a profound commitment to the welfare of others and his legacy will continue through the knowledge gained from his contribution”.

Kinsale, Co. Cork based Neilus Fitzpatrick, who was also hiking Croagh Patrick on November 17, was one of those who assisted Mr. O’Mahony when he fell.

In a deposition which was read toi the inquest he explained he came  om a male on the ground with five others surrounding him.

“His eyes were open and he was breathing”, Mr. Fitzpatrick continued in his statement. “Blood was coming from his left ear. People on the mountain moved around him to keep him warm.”

An air ambulance later arrived and Mr. Fitzpatrick helped get the injured man into a harness for a lift to the helicopter.

Mr. O’Mahony, who also served as Senior Adviser to the Commission of Inquiry (Banking Sector) Ireland 2010-2011, lived at Harbour View, Westport.

Mary Kilroy, an employee of The Helm, Westport, gave evidence that Mr. O’Mahony called for breakfast on November 17 as he had done for seven years previously.

“He was in good form”. Ms Kilroy said in a statement which was read on her behalf to the inquest. “He said he was getting a bus to Croagh Patrick. I advised him the weather was not great but he said he was an experienced hillwalker”.

Mr. O’Mahony was brought by air ambulance to Mayo University Hospital. He passed away in the hospital’s intensive care unit on the following day.

Medical evidence was given to the inquest that Mr. O’Mahony died as a result of traumatic brain haemorrhage, base of skull fracture and head injury due to a fall

Evidence was given by a pathologist that the injury and the dynamics of the injury indicated that even if Mr. O’Mahony  had been transported to Beaumont Hospital his chances of survival would have been very limited.

“Unfortunately his condition did not permit the transport”, the pathologist’s report stated.

A member of the O’Mahony family said they appreciated the assistance given their loved one on the mountain as well as the “amazing people” who cared for him at Mayo University Hospital.



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