Sunday 18 August 2019

'Absolutely heartbreaking' - toddler in stairs fall tragedy may have died from neck injury caused by pen

Se's parents Padraig Joyce and Brenda Quirke have been left devastated by his death
Se's parents Padraig Joyce and Brenda Quirke have been left devastated by his death
Stock photo

Ken Foy

Gardaí were last night continuing to investigate all circumstances surrounding the tragic death of a 15-month-old boy who died after apparently falling down stairs while playing at his home.

The investigation into the death of the toddler, Sé Joyce, in Clonroche, Co Wexford, is being conducted by Enniscorthy gardaí who have set up an incident room in the case.

A post-mortem examination revealed that the little boy had a cut to the jugular vein in his neck.

This neck injury was the cause of the death and may been accidentally caused by a pen or a pencil, it is understood.

"Following a post-mortem examination, we are continuing to investigate all the circumstances of the death of the infant," a Garda spokesman said yesterday.

Gardaí said they will carry out interviews of all witnesses in the case over the coming days in the investigation which is being led by a local detective inspector.

The tragedy happened on Wednesday when the toddler was playing at home. Emergency services were immediately contacted, and they rushed the infant to Wexford General Hospital. However, despite the best efforts of paramedics to resuscitate the little boy, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

He is also survived by his three older siblings, who are aged three, 10 and 15.

His parents have been left devastated by the tragic death of their youngest child and last night were being comforted by family and loved ones.

Yesterday gardai confirmed that their investigations in the case were ongoing.

“Gardai are investigating the sudden death of an infant male who was pronounced dead at Wexford General Hospital on Tuesday afternoon after being brought there from Clonroche, Co Wexford,” the garda spokesman said.

The toddler was found by an adult in an unresponsive condition at the foot of the stairs.

Local parish priest Fr Bernard Cushen said on Wednesday that local people would be supporting the family over the coming days.

“It is an awful tragedy and a freak accident, from what I can gather,” he said.

“Baby Se was only 15 months old. He was born last year in January, and his christening was last April. It was a lovely day.

“He was the joy of the family, and they’re a very close-knit family. They are absolutely devastated, they’re really in a bad way.

“The community are excellent, the way they gel and will support the family.

“Today there has been people at the home the whole time. There’s that many people coming and going to give them support and if anything needs to be done. It’s devastating.”

Local councillor John Fleming said everyone in the community was doing their best to support the family.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to see a family lose a child in such a freak accident like this,” he said.

“Clonroche is a very tightknit community and everyone will now be doing their best to support and comfort the family at this very difficult time. The whole community is under a cloud since this happened.”

Irish Independent

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