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Tipperary student died at Indiependence music festival from ingestion of Ecstasy and morphine, Coroner's inquest finds

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LOSS: Johnny and Elaine Downey with a photograph of their son Jack who died in August after taking ecstasy/MDMA. Picture: Dylan Vaughan

LOSS: Johnny and Elaine Downey with a photograph of their son Jack who died in August after taking ecstasy/MDMA. Picture: Dylan Vaughan

Dylan Vaughan

LOSS: Johnny and Elaine Downey with a photograph of their son Jack who died in August after taking ecstasy/MDMA. Picture: Dylan Vaughan

A TIPPERARY student died from ingestion of Ecstasy and morphine after falling ill at the Indiependence music festival in Cork last year.

A Cork Coroner's inquest into the death of Jack Downey (19) heard that the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) student died from total organ failure despite the desperate efforts of doctors to stabilise his condition.

Coroner Philip Comyn was told by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster that she performed a post mortem examination on the teen.

Mr Downey died on August 5 - three days after falling ill at the popular north Cork music festival.

Dr Bolster conducted the post mortem examination at CUH on August 6.

She told the inquest the cause of death involved was total organ failure due to hyperthermia after the ingestion of Ecstasy, methamphetamine and morphine.

The inquest was adjourned by Mr Comyn after medical evidence was heard as the Garda investigation into the teen's death remains ongoing.

He adjourned the hearing until August 20 next.

Mr Downey's heartbroken parents, John and Elaine, did not attend the inquest.

John Downey is a Clonmel-based garda.

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Tragedy: Jack Downey died three days after falling ill at a music festival

Tragedy: Jack Downey died three days after falling ill at a music festival

Tragedy: Jack Downey died three days after falling ill at a music festival

Attending the inquest was Supt William Leahy, Garda Downey's senior officer, and Sergeant Fergal Twomey who was a Templemore Garda College classmate of Garda Downey.

Last year, John and Elaine Downey issued an impassioned plea for youngsters to look after each other and to stay away from drugs which "destroy lives."

Gardaí believe the substance fatally ingested by a teen at the Indiependence music festival was sourced in south Tipperary.

Detectives have focused their investigation on a number of known drug dealers in the south Tipperary area.

A garda source vowed that the investigation "would leave no stone unturned" in trying to determine where the substance involved originated from.

Gardaí have already spoken to dozens of people who were in contact with the teen in the 24 hours before his death.

A first year Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) accountancy student, Jack Downey complained of feeling unwell at the Mitchelstown event around 5pm on Friday (August 2), shortly after arriving on site from Clonmel.

He was rushed to CUH but was in a critical condition on arrival.

Mr Downey died three days later having failed to regain consciousness.

His heartbroken parents had maintained a vigil by his CUH bedside.

The young man, who sat his Leaving Cert in 2018, was the only child of John and Elaine Downey.

Mr Downey's Requiem Mass took place amid tragic scenes in his native Clonmel.

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The funeral of Jack William Downey at St. Oliver’s, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

The funeral of Jack William Downey at St. Oliver’s, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

The funeral of Jack William Downey at St. Oliver’s, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

John and Elaine Downey urged the friends of their GAA-obsessed son to "look after each other" and warned that drugs destroy lives.

John Downey urged his son's friends, club mates and class mates to now care for each other.

"I used to sit back and just admire him - he was a man with a presence. A cheeky little smile," he said.

"He was a fabulous boy - and I am proud to call him my son."

Elaine Downey said the 19 year old was "the star" of his entire family.

"Jack William Downey - you were the love of my life," she said.

"(But) we cannot let what happened to Jack happen to any other boy or girl. People have to stand up and speak. All it takes is one big mistake and the results are awful and horrendous," she warned.

Online Editors