GARDAÍ and the Private Security Authority are carrying out separate investigations into the sudden death of a man outside a Portlaoise nightclub at the weekend.
Frank Grace (52), from Cullenagh near Ballyroan, died in the early hours of Sunday morning, (June 10), after being discovered lying on the street outside Coppers bar in Market Square, Portlaoise, at 3.10am. Mr Grace had earlier been socialising in the town with friends and had been in Coppers shortly before the incident.
Superintendent John Moloney told the Leinster Express that an altercation occurred between Mr Grace and door staff at the nightclub, which resulted in Mr Grace collapsing to the ground. The garda could not confirm if Mr Grace had earlier been asked to leave the night club.
Two medics who were in the area at the time performed CPR before Mr Grace was taken by ambulance to the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. Supt Moloney has said that Mr Grace was stabilised for a number of hours, but subsequently deteriorated before he was eventually pronounced dead at the hospital.
The inspector confirmed that the results of post mortem show there were no brain injuries and the cause of death was heart failure. At the moment, there is no suspicion of foul play and Supt Moloney has said that the staff of Coppers have been very co-operative with gardaí, however the investigation is ongoing. Supt Moloney has said the gardaí have excellent CCTV from the night and a number of witnesses have come forward, although he is appealing for anyone with any information to contact the garda station.
The superintendent revealed that as part of their inquiries, the gardaí are trying to establish what other venues in Portlaoise Mr Grace may have visited on the night.
“We are looking into all aspects of how the death occurred,” said Supt Moloney.
Meanwhile the Private Security Authority (PSA), the statutory body responsible for licensing and regulating security staff in Ireland, confirmed it was investigating.
“The PSA has commenced an investigation in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death,” said a spokesman. The authority could not elaborate on the nature of its investigation.
The co-owner of Coppers bar, Mr David Power, expressed his sadness at the incident and described Mr Grace, whom he knew, as “a lovely character”.
“I knew him personally, he’d worked for me previously, he was a lovely character. It’s very distressing,” Mr Power said.
Mr Power said his staff have cooperated fully with the gardaí and that the door staff followed the correct procedure on the night.
Mr Power said that following the post mortem results on Sunday, he was given the go-ahead by gardaí to open the pub that night.
The deceased was a self-employed farm contractor who lived alone in Cullenagh. He is survived by his sisters Bernie, Judy and Catherine.
Gardai is appealing for witnesses an in particular to anybody in the vicinity of Market Square between 3am and 3.30am to contact them at 057 8674100, or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.