Boy (5) killed after fireplace collapse
A YOUNG boy died when he suffered horrific head injuries after a fireplace collapsed on to him at his home.
The five-year-old, named locally as Fionn Dawson, from Coolgreen, White's Cross in Cork, was playing at home when the freak incident occurred. He was the eldest of three brothers.
The accident happened just after lunchtime yesterday when the fireplace collapsed and crushed the child below the heavy stonework.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but it was too late for the little boy, who was in cardiac arrest when he was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Doctors at the emergency department fought to save the youngster before breaking the tragic news to his father Cormac Dawson and his mother Anita. Garda forensic experts examined the scene yesterday but a spokesman described the incident as a "tragic accident".
Local residents were last night offering support to the grieving family.
The Dawson family are well known in the area and are members of renowned hurling club Sarsfield GAA.
Donal Kelleher, of the Upper Glanmire Community Association, spoke of the the community's shock at the loss.
"The Dawson family are hugely involved in the community and everyone is totally shocked and upset by what has happened," he said.
Mr Dawson helps care for young children in the area and organises events for teenagers, including a youth disco.
Mrs Dawson is an accountant and helps in her spare time by acting, free of charge, as treasurer for local groups.
Fionn's grandfather, Pat Dawson, is a former Labour Party councillor and is well known in Cork.
He also worked with Musgrave's Cash and Carry and the family built a house in picturesque White's Cross overlooking the nearby northside city suburbs.
The Dawson family all live within a short distance of the family home and built houses on land owned by their father.
The area is very rural, surrounded by green fields but is just seven miles from the bustling northside of Cork.
Donal O'Connell, a neighbour of the Dawsons, spoke of the devastation at the loss of the young boy.
"It is the worst nightmare for any parent, it is just unbelievable that it could happen," he said.
"They are very well liked in the community and they have been living here for a number of years – they are very obliging and very friendly.
"I see them every day and they are a really nice family. It is a huge tragedy and everyone is shocked to see such a young little lad dead in such a simple accident.
"All I can say is that everyone will show their support to the family and I offer my deepest sympathies – a tragedy like this would make the bottom fall out of your world," he said.
The family gathered last night at CUH as they came to terms with the horrific loss. They were unavailable for comment.
It is not the first time a fireplace collapse has claimed the life of a young child in Co Cork. In May of 2010 a five-year-old girl, Aisling O'Sullivan, died when the fireplace her father was working on collapsed and crushed her to death.
The little girl's father was removing the fireplace when his only daughter pulled it down on top of herself. She was killed instantly.
It is not yet known how exactly Fionn Dawson was killed but gardai are examining how the fireplace was attached to the wall.