Matthew Healy: Implement ‘not brought into hospital’ used to beat pensioner to death

A man (30s) has been charged in connection with his death and is expected to appear before Cork District Court this morning

Matthew Healy

Ken Foy and Olivia

A pensioner was beaten to death on a ward with an implement that had not been brought into the hospital, gardaí believe.

A man in his 30s has been charged in connection with his death and is expected to appear before Cork District Court this morning.

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in the case.

The suspect was previously involved in a crime in which an elderly woman was terrorised.

He received a suspended sentence for his role in this incident.

Yesterday, the pensioner was described as a gentle and pleasant man.

Officers are investigating whether an issue over noise triggered the fatal attack by an agitated patient in a Cork hospital.

Separate investigations are now under way by gardaí and MUH into the fatal incident shortly after 5am on Sunday on one of the main wards in the Cork city centre hospital.

Mr Healy’s wife Delia died after a short illness on January 2. The couple lost a daughter in an accident decades ago.

Mr Healy is survived by two adult sons and a daughter. He also had eight grandchildren.

MUH triggered its emergency response plan while gardaí sealed off part of the hospital where the attack occurred yesterday.

Other patients and staff raised the alarm when they discovered the elderly patient with critical injuries at around 5am on one of the main MUH wards. The aftermath was witnessed by several other patients and staff members.

It is unclear what triggered the fatal attack but gardaí are investigating if there was a dispute or argument between the two men.

Father-of-four Mr Healy was not previously known to the man in custody.

The incident occurred in the main section of the city centre hospital which is one of Ireland’s oldest and best known acute teaching hospitals outside Dublin.

Security staff and gardaí were alerted when the pensioner was discovered critically injured and the scene was immediately sealed off.

Desperate efforts were made to save the elderly man on the ward. However, he was pronounced dead a short time afterwards.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has called for a full security audit of all hospitals following the death of the widower after he was assaulted by a fellow patient at MUH.

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that union members’ “thoughts and sympathies” are with the families at the centre of the “tragic incident” at the hospital.

“We have been offering our union’s full support to members in the Mercy and will continue to do so,” she said.

“In light of this awful incident, the INMO is once again repeating our call for a full review and audit of security systems and protocols in Irish hospitals. We haven’t had a security audit of our hospitals since 2016. It is time now for the HSE to complete a full audit of what measures are in place in each hospital.”

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