Thursday 22 August 2019

Teenager loses battle for life after suspected drugs tragedy

Only child: Jack Downey (19) is believed to have taken either ecstasy or MDMA at a music festival on Friday
Only child: Jack Downey (19) is believed to have taken either ecstasy or MDMA at a music festival on Friday

Ralph Riegel

A Tipperary teen lost his three-day battle for life after falling ill at a music festival having ingested suspected ecstasy or MDMA.

Jack Downey (19) from Clonmel died at Cork University Hospital yesterday.

The young man, a first year student at Cork Institute of Technology and a keen hurler, died with his parents, John and Elaine, by his bedside.

He had failed to regain consciousness after being admitted to the hospital in a critical condition last Friday.

Mr Downey complained of feeling unwell at the Indiependence music festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, shortly before 5pm last Friday.

It is unclear what substance was involved but detectives believe it was either ecstasy or MDMA.

He was treated on site before being rushed by ambulance to CUH where he was placed on a life support machine.

Tragically, the teenager - an only child - never regained consciousness and died shortly after 3pm yesterday.

Tribute

He sat his Leaving Cert in 2018 and played with Clonmel Óg GAA club.

Clonmel Óg paid a moving tribute last night to the teen.

"Our worst fears were realised. We are devastated. At a time like this we need to be strong and there for each other," a club official said.

A special Mass was held in the Clonmel Óg clubhouse last night to show solidarity with the Downey family and the teen's friends and team-mates.

A spokesperson for Indiependence said last night: "Our immediate thoughts and those of all the festival-goers are with the family, relatives and friends of the deceased at their very sad loss."

Irish Independent

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