Coroners Act, 1962

Optional power to hold inquest and duty to notify coroner.

18.—(1) Where a coroner is informed that the body of a deceased person is lying within his district and that a medical certificate of the cause of death is not procurable, he may inquire into the circumstances of the death of that person and, if he is unable to ascertain the cause of death, may, if he so thinks proper, hold an inquest in relation to the death.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any case to which section 17 of this Act applies.

(3) It shall be the duty of an inspector or officer of the Garda Síochána, if he becomes aware of the death within the district of a coroner of any person in whose case a medical certificate of the cause of death is not procurable, to inform the coroner of such death.

(4) Every medical practitioner, registrar of deaths or funeral undertaker and every occupier of a house or mobile dwelling, and every person in charge of any institution or premises, in which a deceased person was residing at the time of his death, who has reason to believe that the deceased person died, either directly or indirectly, as a result of violence or misadventure or by unfair means, or as a result of negligence or misconduct or malpractice on the part of others, or from any cause other than natural illness or disease for which he had been seen and treated by a registered medical practitioner within one month before his death, or in such circumstances as may require investigation (including death as the result of the administration of an anaesthetic), shall immediately notify the coroner within whose district the body of the deceased person is lying of the facts and circumstances relating to the death.

(5) The obligation imposed on a person by subsection (4) of this section shall be deemed to be discharged if he immediately notifies a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of sergeant of the facts and circumstances required to be notified under that subsection.

(6) Every person who contravenes subsection (4) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.