Northern Ireland

Inquest to be held into death of Kieran McGrandles

Family of north Belfast man called on BBC to remove Stephen Nolan interview

Kieran McGrandles was interviewed by Stephen Nolan inside Maghaberry Prison
Kieran McGrandles was interviewed by Stephen Nolan inside Maghaberry Prison

An inquest is to be held into the death of a north Belfast man who featured in a BBC jailhouse documentary series and died days after being released from prison.

Father-of-one Kieran McGrandles and another man died at a property in the Elgin Street area of south Belfast, off the Ormeau Road, on Friday May 5 last year.

It is believed the 30-year-old died of a suspected overdose.

His family later called on BBC NI to remove an interview carried out with presenter Stephen Nolan in Maghaberry Prison from its iPlayer service.

The interview was broadcast as part of a six-part series made by Mr Nolan’s production company, Third Street Studios, and fronted by the broadcaster.

Kieran McGrandles died from a suspected drugs overdose
Kieran McGrandles died from a suspected drugs overdose

During the interview Mr McGrandles revealed he had been sexually abused as a boy.

He also told how he had taken medication not prescribed to him on the morning of the interview.

“I took medication this morning, it’s not prescribed to me,” he said.

“I went and bought it.

He also said during the interview “I am mentally ill”.

While being interviewed Mr McGrandles appeared agitated and threatened to shoot a police officer, doctor and sex offender dead.

The Irish News later revealed that a Consultant in Addictions at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust wrote in a letter to Mr McGrandles’ parents that concerns would have been raised with the BBC if medical experts in Maghaberry Prison had been aware of the interview contents.

While relatives of Mr McGrandles, who was jailed for five months last year after assaulting a nurse who was treating him, were not contacted by the BBC, a Prison Service official spoke to his mother Geraldine one working day before the interview was broadcast.

The Prisoner Ombudsman launched an investigation into his death last year and a preliminary inquest hearing is due to take place next week.

His family’s solicitor Paul Pierce, of KRW Law, said: “The McGrandles family welcome the decision by the coroner to hold an inquest into Kieran’s untimely death.

“It is important for the family to be able to engage with and be represented at these inquest proceedings, and to ensure that they have the opportunity to examine all the facts and circumstances surrounding Kieran’s tragic death.”