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Pensioner beaten to death with Zimmer frame in hospital as patients watch on

A man has died in hospital after a fellow patient brutally beat him with a Zimmer frame.

Retired farmer Matthew Healy was attacked in front of other patients in a general ward at Mercy University Hospital (MUH), Cork, shortly after 5am on Sunday (January 22).

Hospital staff became aware of the incident after they heard shouts and screams coming from the six-bed ward and rushed to help the man, reportedly attempting to stop the attacker by dragging him away from Mr Healy's bed.

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However, it was too late and the granddad of eight, from Berrings, County Cork, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Daily Mail reported.

Police officers from the Garda Armed Support Unit were called in and arrested a 32-year-old male patient, who was being questioned last night at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork city.

The ward has also been cordoned off and police will carry out a full forensic and technical examination, while a postmortem will be performed on Mr Healy's body by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.

The man who was arrested has not been identified but police revealed he is from Churchfield, in the north of Cork city.

The two men are not believed to have known each other before the attack.

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Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Looney revealed Mr Healy was recently widowed after he lost his wife Delia in the first week of 2023.

Mr and Mrs Healy also lost their daughter at an early age four decades ago.

Mr Looney said: "The last place you would think something like this would happen is in a hospital.

"When you go into hospital you think you are safe in your bed.

"[The Healy family] are lovely people and he was a thorough gentleman, a pure gentleman."

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MUH confirmed that Gardaí (police) are investigating a fatal incident involving a man in his late 80s.

In a statement, the hospital said: "The hospital is providing counselling services to patients and staff affected by the incident."

It added that staff were "saddened and shocked at the tragic and unexpected death of an elderly patient in an incident in the hospital today".

An incident room has been set up at the Bridewell Garda Station and a family liaison officer has been appointed to support Mr Healy’s family.

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

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