Brenda Kwesikazi Mohammed (27) was found dead in her room on 5th January 2007 in the Eglinton Hotel, Salthill, GALWAY. The Eglinton accommodates some 235 residents, and has been a hostel for asylum seekers since 2001.

Brenda Kwesikazi Mohammed was born in South Africa, and arrived in Ireland in September 2004.   Her weight had dropped from 14 stone to about 6 stone in just over a year.  She had been diagnosed with post-natal depression, and told him she had been unable to eat the food in the hostel since she had given birth.

The shocked husband of the dead woman, Bashiru Mohammed Dauda (30), says he begged the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to move his family - he and his wife have a two-year-old daughter - to self-catering accommodation because his wife could not eat the food prepared at the Salthill hostel. 

On January 4, Bashiru went to Dublin to meet a friend. He spoke to his wife the following day and, realising she was unwell, he returned home.

He could not gain entrance to their room at the hostel in Salthill until his little daughter opened it. The child was naked and his wife was dead.

 

"The RIA are responsible for her death. If they had given her a place where we could cook, she would be alive. She died of malnutrition," he claimed.

And a hand-written letter seen by the Irish Independent and written by his wife before she died spells out her desperation. 

 

An inquest into the South African's death last October ruled she had died of lethal cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiac atrophy, brought on by anorexia. The inquest heard that a psychiatrist and social worker had supported Mrs Mohammed's request to move to self-catering accommodation, where she could cook her own food.

Her husband, believes his wife died of malnutrition as she was unable to eat the food at the hotel and there was no provision for self-catering.

In a report in the multicultural newspaper Metro Éireann last week, Mr Dauda blamed the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) for failing to respond to appeals to have the family relocated. Mr Dauda declined to comment yesterday but is reported to have discovered his wife's body, along with the couple's two-year-old child Liyah, in their room on his return from a trip to Dublin.

Her husband says he wrote 18 letters to the RIA seeking a transfer, supported by his wife's doctor. He has claimed that an offer to move the family to self-catering accommodation in Mosney, Co Meath, on December 15th was withdrawn.

In a lengthy statement, the RIA said that the cause of death was as yet unknown "but it can be stated that the deceased was under the care of the health professionals for some time prior to her death".