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Leon (14) died from heart attack after head got stuck in railings


Leon Connon (inset). The scene of tragedy in Cork

Leon Connon (inset). The scene of tragedy in Cork

Leon Connon (inset). The scene of tragedy in Cork

A teen who got his head stuck in railings just metres from his home died from a heart attack as a result of the freak accident.

The revelation came as the Cork coroner's inquest into the death of Leon Connon (14) was adjourned after Gardai confirmed that a file will shortly be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Det Inspector Declan O'Sullivan told Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane that gardai have prepared an extensive file on the tragedy.

"It is almost completed and ready for (submission to) the DPP," he said.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, conducted a post mortem examination on the teen at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on January 29 last.

She found that the teen died from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to cardiac arrest as a result of the entrapment of his neck in railings.

This is effectively heart and brain crises triggered by an acute interruption of the oxygen supply.

Dr Cullinane adjourned the inquest on the application of gardai to May 7 next.

She said a date for the full inquest will be determined once it is clear what stance is adopted by the DPP.

Leon's heartbroken parents, Dearbhail and Frank, donated his organs last January in a bid to offer life to other youngsters.

The teen from The Orchards, Compass Hill in Kinsale, Co Cork died after spending three days on a life support machine.

He was rushed to CUH on January 25 after he accidentally got his head and neck trapped in a railing that evening.

Neighbours said his parents, Dearbhail and Frank, were “absolutely devastated” by the freak accident which claimed their only son.

Leon was out playing with friends near the estate where his family lived.

He appears to have felt unwell and rested against a 1.3m curved perimeter railing made of steel and timber.

His head suddenly appears to have become trapped in the upper railings and the youngsters with him were unable to free him.

It took several minutes to get local adults to the scene so Leon could be freed.

Kinsale Fire Brigade had to use cutting equipment to remove some of the railing so that Leon could be treated at the scene.

Locals had to use their car headlights to try and provide light for the aid effort.

Leon was unconscious and was rushed to CUH.

Sadly, he never regained consciousness.

Tributes to Leon were paid by Kinsale Rugby Club for whom he played and Kinsale Community School where he was a second year pupil.

KCS principal Fergal McCarthy said the entire school was “deeply shocked” by the tragedy.

“Leon was a wonderful young man and a valued member of our school community,” he said.

A Chelsea fan, Leon was also interested in rugby and martial arts.

One of his favourite photos was a shot of him posing beside a parked Porsche sports car in Kinsale.

Online Editors