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Cause Of Death

The job of the coroner is to help and offer guidance to bereaved families who are looking to establish their loved ones cause of death. More than 10,000 deaths are reported to the coroners' court each year with 2,000 cases making it to an inquest. (2017)

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4.6/5 (49 ratings)

Documentary maker Ruairí McKenna

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Documentary maker: Tim Desmond

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Cause Of Death

More than ten thousand deaths a year in Ireland are reported to the coroner’s office. Ruairi McKenna follows the work of two coroners and meets the people they serve, people who are looking to establish their loved ones’ cause of death.

Terence Casey has been coroner in Kerry South East since 1992 and has spoken very passionately in the past about the number of suicide cases he encounters every year. Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald, as both a doctor and coroner for Mayo North speaks about issues around rural isolation and the cases she encounters linked to this.

The stories of some of the cases they deal with are heartbreaking and touch on the subjects of road safety and suicide. The documentary explores the procedures involved in bringing more than two thousand cases to inquest each year. Families talk of their struggle to come to terms with what they learn and how they navigate the coroners court system , helped along the way by the coroners.

Produced by Ruairí McKenna and Tim Desmond.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this documentary please contact the Samaritans on the freephone no of 116 123 or at

First broadcast: Saturday, September 17th, 2017 RTÉ Radio 1 at 2pm

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One, the home of Irish radio documentaries.

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