Much-loved Buxton pub landlord took his own life after split with ‘the one’, inquest hears

The late Michael McMahon, described by family as a "beautiful, good man".
The late Michael McMahon, described by family as a "beautiful, good man".
  • Michael McMahon, landlord of The Blazing Rag pub, committed suicide after relationship with “the love of his life” ended, court hears
  • Family describe Mr McMahon as a “beautiful, good man” who is missed every day
  • Coroner says: “It’s a sad, tragic death”

A much-loved publican committed suicide after a relationship with “the love of his life” ended, an inquest heard.

Michael McMahon, the landlord of The Blazing Rag in London Road, Buxton, was found dead in his bedroom at the pub in November last year.

It’s clear Michael was a gentleman who took time to be there for family, friends and the wider community of Buxton.

Derbyshire coroner James Newman

Speaking during his inquest at Chesterfield coroners’ court, family described the 38-year-old as a “beautiful, good man”.

The court heard Mr McMahon spiralled into depression and turned to drink as a coping mechanism after he broke up with his girlfriend of four years. She went to live in Latvia at the end of last year.

His sister, Sinead, told Wednesday’s inquest: “It was a very loving relationship but something happened.

“He lost the love of his life and was incredibly sad.

“We never thought he’d take his own life.”

His father, also called Michael, added: “He really loved her.

“They were talking about getting engaged and having children.”

The court heard Mr McMahon turned to drink “to support himself” after the relationship ended.

Family and friends grew concerned about changes in his behaviour and constantly rallied around him, helping him to seek professional advice, the inquest was told.

Mr McMahon was found unresponsive in his bedroom at The Blazing Rag – the pub he had run for seven years – on Monday, November 24.

Despite resuscitation efforts, he was sadly pronounced dead at 9.05am.

More than 1,000 people attended Mr McMahon’s funeral last December.

Paying an emotional tribute in court, Mr McMahon’s other sister, Louise, said: “He was a beautiful, good man.

“He was very kind, very sensitive and quite quiet.

“He had a lot of time for a lot of people and he became a friend to so many over the years.

“He will never be forgotten and we miss him every day.”

Post-mortem tests showed Mr McMahon died of upper airway obstruction and excess alcohol consumption. Depression was a contributory factor.

Coroner James Newman ruled Mr McMahon took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

He said: “It’s clear Michael was a gentleman who took time to be there for family, friends and the wider community of Buxton.

“He got into a relationship and saw her as ‘the one’. It was a loving relationship which broke down over time.

“It’s a sad, tragic death.”

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