Man killed in fall off Dublin balcony after 'hoovering up' cocaine

gavel 2.jpg
gavel 2.jpg

A man who took anabolic steroids to build muscle died after taking cocaine and falling from the balcony of a third-floor apartment.

Mark Clooney (31), of Lynn Road, Co Westmeath, died after he became agitated and paranoid, an inquest into his death heard.

He left his home in Mullingar at around 12.30am on April 7 last year and drove to a friend's apartment at Limewood, Northwood, Santry.

Witness David Murphy said Mr Clooney rang him that night "talking gibberish".

"He was talking about some Arab that was after him about money owed. I told him he wasn't making sense," Mr Murphy told Dublin Coroner's Court.

The pair arrived at Mr Murphy's apartment at 2.20am.

"He said he was back on steroids. I told him he had to get off them. He told me they f***ed his head up," said Mr Murphy.

Mr Clooney had a bag of white powder that he "hoovered up his nose" but then started "freaking out".

"He was paranoid, jumping around the balcony, then he climbed over the railing," said Mr Murphy.

He told coroner Dr Myra Cullinane that he and his girlfriend tried to pull him back inside but he pushed them away. The court heard his foot slipped and he fell to the ground.

Mr Clooney's mother, Mary, said his behaviour had changed in recent years. In college, he started body-building and became very health-conscious.

The family were aware he was "taking something" and that it was affecting his mood.

"When he moved back in with us he was different. He was on edge, paranoid, he had got very big," Mrs Clooney said.

He went to counselling and his mood improved, but soon after the family noticed he had changed again.

The cause of death was head injuries due to a fall from a height, according to State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy.

Mr Clooney was taking the anabolic steroid nandrolone - used for body building - and had 31.2 micrograms per millilitre in his system, according to the toxicology report.

He had a small amount of cocaine in his system.

"It's not entirely clear the exact manner of Mr Clooney falling to his death," the coroner said, returning an open verdict.

Via Roseingrave