‘The closest of brothers’: man’s loving tribute to scaffolder

PUBLISHED: 13:52 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:42 13 August 2020

Merchant's Yard in Reepham, where Luke O'Donoughoe lived                    Picture: Google

Merchant's Yard in Reepham, where Luke O'Donoughoe lived Picture: Google


A man has paid tribute to a Norfolk scaffolder who died just before his 32nd birthday, saying: “We were the closest of brothers.”

In a statement read at the inquest into his brother Luke O’Donoughoe’s death, Matthew O’Donoughoe said they had been working together for the same scaffolding firm before his death.

He said Luke had struggled with personal heartache following the breakdown of his marriage in 2018.

He said: “Before two years ago I would have described him as a happy-go-lucky guy but that changed. I believe the stress of splitting from his wife led to his death.

“He could not get over it and was just heartbroken.”

He added that his brother had also been told by his boss that there may not be work for him the other side of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The inquest on Thursday heard Luke O’Donoughoe, of Reepham, died in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital just over a month before his 32nd birthday.

On May 6 this year, emergency services attended the 31-year-old’s home on Merchant’s Yard in Reepham after a friend had raised fears for his safety.

After getting into the flat, police officers found him unresponsive, alerted paramedics and fought to resuscitate him. The incident was attended by the East of England Air Ambulance, though O’Donoughoe was taken to hospital by road.

Mr O’Donoughoe was treated in hospital for two days but died on Friday, May 8.

During the hearing, evidence was also read out on behalf of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk Constabulary and two GP surgeries he had been registered with.

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson concluded that his death was suicide.

■ If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 113 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple and Android.

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