Berrings will show its strength: Priest says community will rally after local man killed in Cork hospital

Gardaí are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Healy’s death
Berrings will show its strength: Priest says community will rally after local man killed in Cork hospital

Matthew Healy, a retired farmer from Berrings, Co Cork, was killed in the incident on a general ward at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) shortly after 5.30am yesterday.

THE widower, aged 89, who died following an alleged violent attack by a fellow patient at a Cork hospital, has been described as a “pure gentleman”.

Matthew Healy, a retired farmer from Berrings, Co Cork, was killed in the incident on a general ward at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) shortly after 5.30am yesterday.

Gardaí are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Healy’s death.

An autopsy was conducted yesterday afternoon at Cork University Hospital, however details are not being released for operational reasons.

A man aged 32 who was arrested at the scene was last night being detained at the Bridewell Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

Fr Patrick McCarthy, a priest in the Berrings area, said the community will be there for the family should they wish to avail of support.

“It’s during times of tragedy that the community shows its strength,” Fr McCarthy said.

“We need each other more than ever. I know the community will be trying to give as much support as we can.”

He described Berrings as a strong community with lots of support.

Fr McCarthy said that all locals can do now is be there for the family.

“It’s not always easy. Then again, what can any of us do when there is a tragedy besides be present for people in their grief, in their struggles, and in their difficulties.

“All you can do is just be there with them and metaphorically hold their hand. Of course, we can also support families in practical ways which people often do.

“The community is there for them. I hear when people are going through tragedies, even though the experience is absolutely terrible, they still need people. They appreciate them being around them.

“There is nothing those around them can do but just be there and that’s what our community will do.”

He urged people to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.

“There is not much one can do but offer some level of support. I wouldn’t necessarily say this is any consolation, but it may be helpful to them in their grief and in their trauma.”

'PURE GENTLEMAN'

Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Looney said that the people of Berrings are deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of a “pure gentleman”.

“He was a very quiet man,” he said. “The people of Berrings are devastated.

“The family are here for generations. They are hugely respected.”

“They (the Healy family) are lovely people and he (Mr Healy) was a thorough gentleman. A pure gentleman. His wife is only dead a few weeks.”

Mr Healy was predeceased by his wife Delia, who died earlier this month, and another daughter who lost her life in an accident at a young age four decades ago.

MUH issued a statement in which they confirmed that the hospital was “providing counselling services to patients and staff affected by the incident”.

In a further statement the hospital said that they are “saddened and shocked at the tragic and unexpected death of an elderly patient in an incident in the hospital”.

The hospital also expressed their “deepest condolences” to the family, relatives and friends of the deceased.

Mr Healy was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident took place on a six-bed general ward.The area where the incident took place was cordoned off to allow for a full forensic and technical examination by gardaí.

Staff intervened in a bid to bring the incident to a halt. The Armed Support Unit also attended at the scene and assisted in the arrest of a male patient. The men were not believed to be known to each other prior to hospitalisation.

Staff and patients are shocked by what unfolded on site in the hospital, which has treated patients in Cork City for close to 170 years.

An incident room has been established at the Bridewell Garda Station. A family liaison officer has also been appointed to assist the bereaved family of Mr Healy. The pensioner is survived by his two adult sons and a daughter. He also had eight grandchildren.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said: “A senior investigating officer has been appointed and a Garda family liaison officer continues to liaise with the family of the deceased.

“The scene remains preserved for forensic and technical examination by the Cork City divisional scenes of crime unit.”

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