Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Apology following inquest delay

The 21-year-old from Ballycorr Road, Ballyclare, was found dead last September

An inquest into the drugs-related death of a Co Antrim woman has been adjourned after a key witness did not turn up

The Coroner said it was a matter of public interest that the hearing into the death of Aisling Wholihan went ahead at a later date.

The 21-year-old, from Ballycorr Road, Ballyclare, was found dead last September.

"I apologise on behalf of the court for the delay but it was something that was wholly outside of my control," said Coroner James Kitson.

The hearing had been scheduled to take place in Belfast's Old Town Hall but a crucial witness, Colin Hughes, was unavailable. The Coroner said he had questions to ask Mr Hughes.

"It is important that he is here to give evidence," he added.

Ms Wholihan's lifeless body was discovered in the bedroom on September 5, 2012, by a friend who was staying at the house.

Her mother, Karen Wholihan, had written to the Courts Service questioning the need for an inquest to be held.

"Mrs Wholihan, I have read your letter regarding your views on an inquest but I believe it is in the public interest that it proceeds," said Mr Kitson.

A new hearing is to be held in Ballymena Courthouse which is closer to the family home. The family declined to comment outside the court.

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