Salmonella the cause of mum’s death

by Sylvia Pownall

A mother-of-one who contracted food poisoning at a First Communion function died due to salmonella, an inquest has heard.

Investigations into the outbreak are continuing, an inquest into the death of 55-year-old Sandra O’Brien (above) heard last week.

Ms O’Brien, from Rivervalley, Swords died on May 21, 2017 following the consumption of food prepared at O’Dwyer’s Bar and Grill, Strand Road, Portmarnock.

Ms O’Brien’s husband, Garda Sgt Michael O’Brien, attended a short inquest hearing into her death at Dublin Coroner’s Court last week.

Investigations by the Health Service Executive and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are ongoing and reports will be filed to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the inquest heard.

Noel Donnelly, principal environmental health officer for Fingal, said: “It’s an investigation into the outbreak in relation to compliance with food safety legislation. We are not investigating the death of a particular person.”

The cause of death was given as acute myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle – as a consequence of salmonella infection, with previous myocarditis as a contributory factor.

After the incident the HSE said it became aware of more than 50 people from different family groups supplied by the same company over the weekend of May 13 and 14 last year who became ill.

The catering company, Flanreil Food Services, who provided the food served on the day of the First Communion function, was represented at the inquest by solicitor Elaine Byrne.
Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane extended her condolences to Mr O’Brien and adjourned the inquest to November 8 at the request of investigating gardai.

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