A Dublin woman’s body may have lay undiscovered in her apartment for up to a year, an inquest heard.

The remains of Mary Fox, 56, were discovered by her brother at her home at Cooldriona Court in Swords, north Dublin, on July 14 last year.

The court heard Fox was an alcoholic and suffered from depression.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the deceased remains were too decomposed to establish a cause of death.

Brendan Dunphy went to check on his sister after a building society contacted him to say she was in arrears. He grew concerned when there was no answer at her apartment and called the police who found her remains, the Irish Independent reports.

He told Dublin’s Coroners Court that he had not seen his sister for over a year previous, as she had fallen out with family and friends. He said he thought she was in the care of mental health services at the Curam Clinic in Swords.

"We were given the impression they were looking after her," Dunphy told the court.

In a letter to the court Consultant psychiatrist Dr Declan Murray explained Fox had been discharged from the clinic and back into the care of her GP in July 2010.

Fox’s GP wrote to the court to say the deceased had last attended his clinic on April 21, 2011.

Dunphy’s wife Angela told the court they had written to the Irish Medical Organization regarding her sister-in-law's care.

"What I do not understand is where the back-up was from the health services.

"Where were the social workers?

"Why did they leave her in an apartment block on her own with no family and no friends," she said.