A chef fell from the roof of the house he was renting, dying instantly just after celebrating a night out.
Gifted chef Scott Gallagher graduated from the renowned Colaiste Saint Patricks in 2008. He spent five years at Market Lane Restaurant and never once turned a customer away.
A few days after retiring from his job, Scott had a going away party for one of his friends at Crane Lane Pub. After drinking, Scott went back to his house share on Douglas Street in Cork City.
Josh Lee, a friend of the deceased, said that everyone at the bar was feeling great. Towards the end of the night he offered to help Scott walk home as he was feeling tired. Scott said “I feel fantastic” and left to go home.
Antonio Alba Sanchez, a Spanish national who lived with the four other roommates, said they were all like family. He and roommate Scott had gone to school together and that he had taught his friend English and Scott had taught him Spanish.
When there was one bathroom that five people would have to share, the men often would urinate on the rooftop.
Discovery of deceased Scott Gallagher
Mr. Sanchez saw that the door to the flat roof was open when he woke up for work, so he closed it. Scott’s hat was on the ground near the bathroom door, and then his phone and jacket were on the living room floor. Mr. Sanchez went to work without touching anything else around the apartment.
“Maria (Antonio’s girlfriend) rang me at 10.30 to tell me to get home because something bad had happened to my roommate Scott.” Mr. Sanchez said that urinating into the drain was a “regular occurrence” amongst us guys living together.
Marc Massague Recasens told the inquest that he first knew something was unusual when a restaurant employee called him the morning of January 31 to ask if he knew why Scott had missed his shift.
The foreman looked for Scott in the property and then went onto the roof to see if he was taking a break. Marc said “Scott is usually a really good worker, but today I found that he did not go to work today,” which was strange as it wasn’t one of his usual days off work.
“I looked down, and I saw him lying on the ground. I just saw enough of him to see that he had a face.”
When Aoife O’Donoghue, a resident of Dunbar St in Cork, Ireland, spotted the body of Mr Gallagher lying on the ground at about 9:55 AM on January 31, she immediately tried to find his pulse. When she could not, her roommate started chest compressions but Mr Gallagher was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detective Sergeant Liam Lynch conducted an investigation into the death. Scenes of crimes officers examined the flat, interviewed witnesses and teammates and found no foul play.
Det. Sgt Lynch decided to go on the roof at night and test how much light there was outside. He found that the only light there was a street lamp.
It would have been avoided
Dr. Margaret Bolster, who conducted the post-mortem on the deceased, said that Mr. Gallagher died from injuries consistent with a fall from a height.
She said that Scott’s blood-alcohol level fit the scenario of having had 8-9 pints. There was no evidence of drugs. Bollter indicated that the high alcohol level would have impacted Mr Gallagher’s ability to co-ordinate on the night.
The witness told the police that Mr. Gallagher fell from a height on to his right side, and that death would have occurred immediately.
“He had instant loss of consciousness,” Dr Bolster said. “When he fell he didn’t know anything at all, he wouldn’t have felt a thing.” Mr Gallagher’s death was due to a severe traumatic brain injury that was consistent with him falling from a height.
In his verdict, Mr. Comyn was quick to point out that Mr. Gallagher passed as a result of misadventure, which led him to express his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
“There isn’t much I can say that will ease the pain of. It is a shame. Death would be instant. He wouldn’t have to suffer.”
Sgt Fergus Twomey also felt for the family, saying that it is “every parent’s worst nightmare.”