Elderly Irish woman, 79, died after falling from a ladder onto garden shears
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Elderly Irish woman, 79, died after falling from a ladder onto garden shears

AN ELDERLY IRISH woman died after falling from a ladder onto garden shears, an inquest has heard. 

Avid gardener Loreto Peel, 79 of Northland Drive, Finglas, Dublin 11 died of a chest wound from the blade of her shears after she fell from a ladder while holding it.

Her daughter Helen Lane visited her on the day of the fall.

She said her mother loved her garden and was regularly out clipping bushes and hedges, often on the ladder.

Her father had gone to Wexford on holiday and her mother was due to follow him there.

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It was the last time Ms Lane saw her mother alive. Later that day they spoke on the phone around 3.30pm.

“We had a conversation about childcare arrangements. She was out in the back garden. She loved her garden,” Ms Lane said at the inquest. 

The following day, June 23 2016, Ms Lane was contacted by a friend of her mother’s who had become concerned because she was not responding to calls.

She tried calling her mother’s mobile and landline before deciding to leave work to call to the house.

At 11am Ms Lane left work and drove the five minutes to the family home where she found her mother lying in the back garden, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

“Her legs were caught on the ladder. The garden shears was very close to her right hand side and her right hand which was outstretched,” Ms Lane said.

Ms Lane phoned an ambulance, and Dublin Fire Brigade responded to a call to the house at 11.08am.

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There were no signs of life and Mrs Peel was pronounced dead at the scene at 3.02pm.

A post-mortem revealed the woman had suffered a fatal injury inflicted by the garden shears in a fall from the ladder.

Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan found the injuries to be consistent with a single shears blade and noted the absence of any defence wounds.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, the coroner Dr Myra Cullinane offered condolences to the family.

“This was a very difficult ordeal for you. It was such a shocking and unanticipated thing to happen,” the coroner said.