The widow of a man who died by suicide has criticised the HSE for not sending a representative to his inquest after a previous hearing revealed that he died less than 24 hours after he was discharged from a hospital A&E following an attempt to end his life.
John Broderick, 35, of Reaun, Currow, Killarney, Co Kerry was assessed by a psychiatrist at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) on 27 August, 2018 having presented following an attempt to end his life.
His inquest in Mallow, Co Cork heard that he was deemed well enough to leave its emergency department and return to work. This was in spite of scoring zero in a test where zero is sad and ten is happy. He died by suicide the following day.
Coroner for North Cork, Dr Michael Kennedy, had adjourned the inquest last year in order to obtain the anti-bullying policy of Mr Broderick's employer amid allegations that he had endured bullying at the hand of a named individual.
A full hearing was also postponed in order to receive follow up information on a psychiatric report filed following Mr Broderick's presentation to hospital the day before his death.
At a hearing in Mallow District Court today, Dr Kennedy read out a submitted report from UHK which revealed that Mr Broderick was assessed as having had a passive death wish with no suicidal plan.
He told doctors he did not wish to be to admitted to hospital and he expressed a desire to return to work the following day.
The inquest was told that all steps were taken by the hospital to manage his care.
The inquest was told the patient did not meet the criteria for an urgent admission to hospital under the Provisions of the Mental Health Act.
UHK said it was possible that Mr Broderick did not make full disclosures about his condition on admission.
They stressed the support of the crisis team was given to him and that the crisis nurse contacted him at 11am on 28 August 2018.
However, Dr Kennedy was told that Mr Broderick had died by suicide two hours earlier.
Eimear Griffin, solicitor representing Sandra Broderick, said she was disappointed at a decision by the HSE not to send a representative to the inquest.
"I am completely disappointed that there is no representative of the HSE here today. Mrs Broderick's motivation in this is that (cases like this) would be prevented in the future. "
Ms Griffin accused the HSE of "airbrushing" the case. She stated that the motivation of her client was to prevent other families from suffering.
Meanwhile, the inquest also heard a statement from Munster Joinery, where Mr Broderick had been employed
The Coroner had written to the company to request their policy on bullying after Mr Broderick's widow had claimed at a previous hearing that he had suffered tremendously at work.
Ms Broderick testified that her husband was bullied by an individual at Munster Joinery in Co Cork, and that the alleged incident involved "mind games" and being "shouted and roared at" in front of his fellow employees.
She said her husband had pleaded with the person to "give him a break".
Munster Joinery said in a statement that they had never received an allegation of bullying or mistreatment towards Mr Broderick.
The company stated that a Critical Incident Centre was set up for staff after the death and that counselling had been made available.
The inquest heard that company had a policy on bullying in place which was maintained.
Dr Kennedy was also told that Mr Broderick was not directly employed by the firm but was instead a subcontractor.
Dr Kennedy said the evidence of Mrs Broderick was very harrowing. He offered his condolences to her and her daughter Grace saying that she had done everything she could to help John.
He added that the death was "traumatic" and "very raw".
A verdict of death by suicide was recorded.
In a statement, the HSE said that it was asked to submit a report to the inquest and it did so. The HSE also said that it was not asked to attend the inquest "or advised of the inquest date".