Courtcase, Noel Baker

Courtcase, Noel Baker

Mother’s fears for daughter come true

Mother’s fears for daughter come true

12.9.2019

Mother’s fears for daughter come true

“I drove to Dublin with this awful feeling,” Kay Clifford told the coroner. Sadly, her mother’s instinct was right.

Ms Clifford was driving home to Clontarf from Clonakilty in West Cork, where her daughter Sarah Clifford, 31, a qualified nurse, was lying in her bed, her two dogs beside her. Unknown to Kay, Sarah had died. Clonakilty Coroner’s Court heard that Sarah had an accident some years before, badly damaging a leg and becoming paralysed for a time. She had anxiety and over a number of years was prescribed extremely strong painkillers, to which she became addicted. Sarah was found in her home at 30 Park View in Clonakilty on Sunday afternoon, November 25. Taxi driver John Mulcahy had raised the alarm. He or his wife, who also drives a taxi, delivered her medication every morning as well as nutritional drinks that were too big to push through the letterbox. On Saturday, Friday’s drinks were still on the porch. By Sunday, so were Saturday’s. Autopsy results showed as many as nine medications in Sarah’s system, but only one, an anti-convulsive medication, in the toxic range. The court heard she had been so unwell that her body, racked by pneumonia and a severe infection, had been unable to metabolise it and it had built up in her system. Sarah had said she didn’t want to go into hospital. Plans were in place to reduce her medication. Kay Clifford told the coroner: “She did want to get her life back.” But, after four years of heavy doses of strong painkillers, “she was addicted to them”. Kay saw Sarah the Wednesday before she died. The following day, Sarah texted to say she was too sick to meet her mother. There was no answer to texts, calls, email on Friday. On Saturday morning, Kay called over and shouted in the letterbox. She had a key but didn’t want to disturb her daughter. Instead, she popped a note through the door saying she had left pyjamas she had bought for Sarah with the chemists. Kay left a €50 inside the note. Investigating Garda Donal McCormack said he found the note left for Sarah by her mother inside the door. ‘I don’t think it was ever read, unfortunately,” he said. Kay Clifford then produced another note, written by her daughter and addressed to “whoever finds this note”. It was written two days before she was last seen alive by John Mulcahy and found under her pillow. “I want to make it very clear that I am not or am not suicidal,” it said. “However, I feel the worst I have in my whole life”. The letter, read out in court, explained how Sarah felt she couldn’t walk or even breath and had a soaring temperature. She said it had been four weeks since she had eaten properly as she couldn’t keep anything down. She said she had instructed a solicitor to give her dogs to someone else. Coroner Frank O’Connell said that while the various medicines were properly prescribed and dispensed, Ms Clifford was on high doses, compromising her gag reflex, with gastric contents going down and causing infection. The coroner ruled that Ms Clifford died at her home early on November 24, 2018, as a result of bronchial pneumonia, sepsis and an abscess, with a background of medication for pain relief and her ill health, this being the underlying cause of death. READ MORE Read more: Irish Examiner

Boris Johnson’s true reason for suspending parliament has been exposedBrexit analysis: Boris Johnson’s true reason for suspending parliament exposed by today’s Scottish court ruling

Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer announce HUGE joint Irish gigGreen Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer announce joint Dublin gig for June 2020

Minister calls meeting with representatives from both sides of the beef dispute todayIt comes after talks between both parties broke down earlier this week.

Female hunter vows to continue slaughtering animals despite trolls threatening to murder her baby daughterA FEMALE hunter has vowed to go on slaughtering animals despite threats made online against her baby daughter. Kate Small, 29, from Boise, Idaho, is a nurse who took up hunting after being introduc…

Mariah Carey's thrifty 8-year-old daughter is less of a diva than her famous mumMariah Carey has posted a hilarious photo of her 8-year-old daughter revealing she wanted to shop in US store Target more than anywhere in the world

DNA samples from Tuam Mother and Baby Home survivors can be taken without new legislationDNA samples can be speedily taken from survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home without the need for new legislation.



Irish flights cancelled due to Canary Island sandstorm

What evidence is there that the IRA still controls Sinn Féin?

Truck driver jailed after dangerous motorway u-turn

Varadkar's comments an 'overreaction', says McDonald

Horrific injuries of SeaWorld trainer killed by orca confirmed

Royals hope to forge 'lasting friendship' with Ireland

Vehicle seized in connection with N7 sulky race

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News

News

12 September 2019, Thursday News

Previous news

Johnson has ‘stupid Brexit fantasy’

Next news

Tuam DNA samples can be taken in absence of new law
'I keep to myself more than in the past': Teenagers attacked with acid discuss impact on their lives Humpback whale rescued from illegal net off Mexico Students call on University of Limerick to reverse decision to double-up bedrooms on campus Father spared deportation but cloud still hangs over young family Poll: What topping will you have on your pancakes? Conor Murphy again refuses to state that Paul Quinn was not a criminal Tenerife hotel on lockdown over coronavirus Virus outbreak in South Korea 'very grave' - Moon ITV is looking for applicants for this summer's Love Island | JOE.ie Legal sector must take some responsibility for soaring insurance costs, say hoteliers Tenerife hotel quarantined after Italian doctor tests positive for coronavirus Assange ‘handcuffed and stripped naked on first day of extradition hearing’
Irish flights cancelled due to Canary Island sandstorm What evidence is there that the IRA still controls Sinn Féin? Truck driver jailed after dangerous motorway u-turn Varadkar's comments an 'overreaction', says McDonald Horrific injuries of SeaWorld trainer killed by orca confirmed Royals hope to forge 'lasting friendship' with Ireland Vehicle seized in connection with N7 sulky race Mary Lou McDonald reveals gardaí aware of threats made against her Jewish council to write to TDs on how to spot anti-Semitism Varadkar and Martin set to begin 'exploratory' talks Film producer Weinstein guilty of sexual assault, rape Calls for greater efforts to tackle impact of flooding