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Coroner's court Crime boss Larry Dunne resisted medical help after stabbing himself in neck, inquest hears

The inquest heard a passer-by had come across Dunne, dressed in pyjamas, slippers and a dark robe, lying in front of his house between two wheelie bins.

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Larry Dunne

Larry Dunne

Larry Dunne

One of the country’s most notorious crime bosses, Larry Dunne, resisted receiving medical treatment for a self-inflicted stab wound to his neck at his south Dublin home last year, an inquest had heard.

Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard evidence on Wednesday that one of Ireland’s first major drug dealers had told family members and gardaí who came to his assistance that he wanted to be left alone to die.

Dunne, who had been diagnosed in early 2019 with lung cancer, was rushed to St James’ Hospital by ambulance from his home on Carrickmount Drive, Rathfarnham on May 18, 2020 but died the following day from his injuries.

The inquest heard a passer-by had come across Dunne, dressed in pyjamas, slippers and a dark robe, lying in front of his house between two wheelie bins.

Irina Berkun, an Italian doctor, said she was out for an afternoon walk with her husband when she noticed a man appearing to be fixing something on the ground.

Dr Berkun said she walked into the garden of Dunne’s house to check on the man and he replied “yes” when she asked if he was OK.

However, Dr Berkun said something did not feel right about the situation as she could see some blood.

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 Rachel Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of  her father, who died on 18th May 2020.

Rachel Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of her father, who died on 18th May 2020.

Rachel Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of her father, who died on 18th May 2020.

When she began knocking on the front door and taking out her phone to seek help, Dr Berkun recalled that Dunne told her to “fuck off” before showing her a knife.

The doctor said one of Dunne’s daughters came out of the house crying and gardaí and paramedics arrived shortly after.

Dr Berkun said Dunne’s wound looked superficial and the blood was not pumping which suggested he had not cut any artery.

In a statement, Rachel Dunne said she had been upstairs in the house when she heard a voice outside asking if everything was OK and her father replying: “I’m grand – get away.”

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Ms Dunne said she found her father, who was living in a cabin at the back of the property, on the ground and thought he had suffered a fall before seeing the knife and blood.

When she tried to help him, Ms Dunne said he replied that he was “tired living in his body and just wanted to go.”

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 Rachel Dunne, left and Sarah Dunne, daughters of the late Larry Dunne  pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of their father, who died on 18th May 2020

Rachel Dunne, left and Sarah Dunne, daughters of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of their father, who died on 18th May 2020

Rachel Dunne, left and Sarah Dunne, daughters of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of their father, who died on 18th May 2020

Ms Dunne said there had been an extreme deterioration in her father’s health in the previous few days and she had a feeling that he did not have long to live.

A paramedic with Dublin Fire Brigade, Kean McGivern, said the injured man still had a knife in his hand when he arrived on the scene and was refusing medical assistance.

The inquest heard it was over an hour before gardaí, with the assistance of members of the Armed Support Unit, were able to disarm Dunne and allow him to be examined.

Garda witnesses, Detective Garda Peter Finan and Detective Garda Joanne Grogan said Dunne appeared in an agitated state and indicated he wanted to be left to die.

However, he eventually agreed to get into an ambulance following negotiations between gardaí and his family but was resisting treatment at St James’s Hospital.

The inquest also heard that Dunne had decided not to seek any treatment for the lung cancer he had been diagnosed with in February 2019.

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Sarah Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne  pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of her father, who died on 18th May 2020

Sarah Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of her father, who died on 18th May 2020

Sarah Dunne, daughter of the late Larry Dunne pictured leaving Dublin County Coroner's Court after the inquest into the death of her father, who died on 18th May 2020

A consultant in emergency medicine at St James’s Hospital, Paul Staunton said Dunne was alert with normal breathing on arrival but he was in a distressed state and had suffered a deep puncture wound to his neck.

However, Dunne was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit early the following morning after his condition deteriorated and he died at 8.20pm that evening from multiple-organ failure.

Dr Daniel Collins, an ICU consultant, said Dunne had expressed suicide intent and he believed his injuries were the result of both his mental and physical distressed state.

A post-mortem revealed that Dunne was also suffering from double pneumonia and severe coronary heart disease in addition to lung cancer.

The coroner, Dr Clare Keane, recorded a verdict of death due to self-inflicted harm.

Two of Dunne's daughters, Rachel and Sarah, who attended the inquest with a male relative left the coroner's court without commenting.

If you have been affected by this story, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie

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