Celtic fan’s death ‘a very unfortunate accident’ - Coroner

A 22-year-old Scottish football fan who came to Bundoran for a Celtic Supporters Festival died after fracturing his skull an inquest has heard.

A 22-year-old Scottish football fan who came to Bundoran for a Celtic Supporters Festival died after fracturing his skull an inquest has heard.

The inquest, held at Donegal Town Court House on Tuesday, heard that Victor Hendry of Station Road, New Stevenson, Motherwell, flew from Glasgow to Derry with his cousin Robert John Wright on Thursday, September 22 last.

The pair were collected by Robert’s brother Mary Theresa and another cousin, Anthony Carroll who had travelled up from Ballinasloe.

When they arrived at the house in Dartry Close, Bundoran they had a meal and the three men drank a bottle of rosé then, shortly before 9pm, they went into town to Paris nightclub.

There, Victor Hendry drank pints of cider, two shots of Jagermeister and possibly some vodka.

He was full of life on the night, laughing and joking, his cousins recalled.

By 11.30pm he was “drunk but not falling about the place”. Mary Theresa accompanied him back to the house in a taxi and left him as he was getting into bed. She and the other men left the nightclub about an hour later and, when they arrived back at the house at around 1am, they found him asleep and snoring at the bottom of the stairs. There were no signs of any external injury and he had not vomited, the inquest was told.

When they tried to wake him, he asked them what they were doing but then passed out again. They moved him to a sofa, gave him a pillow and a blanket and put him in the recovery position. Mary Theresa slept on the second sofa “to keep an eye on him” and when she checked on him at around 4.30am he was still asleep and snoring.

When she awoke again and checked on him at 7.50am, there was no response.

Robert Wright could not find a pulse. The two men started CPR and, when liquid came from the deceased’s mouth, they rang for an ambulance and the gardai.

“But it was no use, he was gone,” Robert Wright told the inquest.

When the ambulance crew arrived, they continued to administer CPR.

Dr Majella Grealish arrived shortly after. Death was pronounced at 8.20am at the scene and the deceased was taken to Sligo General Hospital for post mortem.

The autopsy report noted that there “quite an extensive” 4.5cm fracture at the back of the skull.

The Coroner, Dr Diarmuid Hegarty noted that “the brain showed evidence of an impact like you would get from a fall against a hard surface.”

Toxicology reports show 186mcg alcohol to 100ml blood while the urine reading was 404mcg/100ml.

Dr Hegarty told the jury that, according to the medical report, death was from “injuries due to skull fracture”.

He added: “This appears to be a very unfortunate accident and a very tragic one.”

The jury returned a verdict of death “in accordance with medical evidence”.

The coroner, jury foreperson and Sgt. Thomas Mitchell all conveyed their sincere sympathies to the family of the deceased.