An inquest into the death of a Dublin man has determined that a poor diet – limited to Pringles, Coca-cola, chocolate and wine – caused his internal organs to fail.
Fionn Clarke (30) was found dead in his Finglas apartment on Sept. 11. His naked body was found by his father, Michael Clarke. Since leaving his job with the Revenue Commission, Fionn had lived off his savings, which had run out. He had been estranged from his family for almost a year
Michael Clarke said that he visited the apartment every few weeks to clean it and restock the kitchen with “sweets and Coke,” the only foods his son would eat. The home had neither heat nor electricity, and was littered with trash. The elder Clarke would clean the house, but by his next visit it would be dirty again.
Clarke told the Dublin Coroner’s Court that his son had suffered from depression and alcoholism, and had become a recluse. He also said that the family had appealed to the courts to help Fionn, but had met with a “dead end” because his son was not anorexic or suicidal.
At one point, Fionn Clarke had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He was released when a consultant could not find evidence of psychosis or depression.
The police estimated that Clarke had been dead for at least a week before hs body was found. Garda Sean Kelly told the Irish Independent that living room floor was completely covered in rubbish – empty sweet wrappers, Pringles cans and wine bottles.
“It was so bad that [we] were unable to see the floor and had to wade through rubbish,” he said.
The doctor who performed the autopsy was unable to determine a specific cause of death. But he said that Clarke’s internal organs – especially his heart – had been severely damaged, thanks to his poor diet. At the time of death, Clarke weighed about 120 lbs.
The coroner, Dr. Brian Farrell testified that Clarke’s death was “a case of self-neglect for psychological reasons.”