‘Why did Brian die waiting in a hospital chair?’

by Mark O'Brien
Brian Hamilton was discovered slumped dead in a chair in Tallaght Hospital. Picture: The Irish Sun

The brother of a man found dead in Tallaght University Hospital on Saturday has called for an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Brian Hamilton (40) was found dead on a chair in the waiting department of A&E on Saturday afternoon.

It is believed that he had arrived into the waiting room at 2am on Saturday morning but had not sought treatment.

The hospital had initially claimed that he was homeless but his brother Michael confirmed that this was not the case and that Brian was only registered as homeless to allow him to avail of treatment for alcohol addiction.

Speaking to 98FM’s Dublin Talks on Monday, he said: “He (Brian) was in rehab. We weren’t even aware he’d left.

“He was in residential care for his alcohol addiction and the only way we could get him into Simon was to register him as homeless.

“That’s the only way they can get into these places is to register as homeless.”

Michael went on to say that he was annoyed that initial reports stated that Michael was homeless and stressed that he came from a loving family.

“He’d lovely parents, he’d a good upbringing,” he said.

“We’re all hardworking. Everybody in the family is a hardworking person, he just had his demons.

“He lost his mother last year and fell off the wagon.”

Michael also questioned why it took so long to discover that Brian had died.

“What kind of policy is in A&E?” he said.

“Surely to God the security guard there does a sweep of the waiting department to see, give him a nudge, anything. What do the security do?

“I went up and identified the body at 4 o’clock Saturday and I could tell myself, and I’m not a doctor, that he was dead a long time.”

He added that such checks could possibly have saved Brian’s life.

“I work in an E-plant and I have to do health and safety checks three or four times a day.

“Why is nothing in place? I’m not saying it would have made much difference but they could have got to him earlier. He’s only 40, they might have got him back, I don’t know.”

A statement from Tallaght University Hospital said: “Management of the hospital are cooperating with gardai in their investigations and an internal review will also be initiated immediately into the circumstances of the incident.

“The hospital would like to extend their condolences to the family of the deceased.”

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