The late Liam Hyland.
A well-known former Donegal town hotelier and newspaper owner died as a result of a heart attack in his home, an inquest into his death has found.
Liam Hyland (73) of Golf Course Road, Tullycullion, Donegal town was found dead at his home on September 9th, 2017.
The inquest at Donegal Corner’s Court heard that his death was caused by natural causes due to acute myocardial insufficiency and severe coronary atherosclerosis.
The coroner's court heard that injuries found on him which were caused by a fall did not cause his death.
The injuries included a bleed in his skull caused by an injury to his head, a slight tear to his liver, broken ribs and a dislocated ankle.
Kim Pereira, who worked for Mr Hyland at the Donegal Times newspaper, said she was working in the office Friday, September 8th.
Mr Hyland left to go home at around 12.30pm. He was complaining of a sore knee and had to hold on to his desk when he got up to walk.
She said he phoned the office from home at 2.30pm to discuss work and sounded fine.Ms Pereira and her partner dropped some books and papers through the letterbox of Mr Hyland’s home just after 6pm.
She went to work the next day and phoned Mr Hyland at 10am, 11am and 12 noon but got no reply.
Found at home
Margaret Gallagher, who also worked at the newspaper, went to Mr Hyland’s home at 1.45pm on Saturday after Ms Pereira told her she could not contact Mr Hyland.
She used a key she had to open the door of his home and found him lying face down near the door with the notebooks and papers on the floor beside him.
Garda Alan Gallagher said Mr Hyland was lying fully clothed, wearing socks, with his feet resting on the last steps of the stairs.
The garda said there was no sign of forced entry or anything suspicious at the house.
He said he believed the death occurred between 2.30pm and when the papers were put through the door just after 6pm.
Dr Katriona Dillon, who carried out a post-mortem, said she believed the death was due to a mild cardiac event which occurred when he was on the staircase.
Injuries consistent with a fall
She said the injuries were consistent with a fall downstairs but were not enough to cause death.
She said death was by natural caused but the time of death could not be determined.
Coroner Dr Denis McCauley said Mr Hyland was probably unconscious from the heart attack when he fell.
He said it was important to have held the inquest to explore all the aspects of the death.
Solicitor for Hyland family Mairín McCartney expressed gratitude to the coroner for the way the inquest was conducted.
“He will be sadly missed. He was a well-loved family man and businessman - a very keen sportsman and very keen in community affairs. The family are very grateful to you and the gardaí for your assistance in this matter.”