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Two arrested over death of 10-day-old infant

A man and a woman have been arrested by gardai investigating the death of a 10-day-old infant from Co Meath.

The baby boy, named locally as John McCarthy from Navan, died a week ago today, just hours after being brought to hospital with extremely serious injuries.

Sources confirmed he had sustained head injuries and a fractured arm. The injuries are understood to be similar to those suffered in a fall from a height.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and the man on suspicion of withholding information from gardai. Both were taken into custody last night in Navan.

Gardai are satisfied the injuries were sustained in a house in Lusk in north county Dublin.

The boy had gone there on the Thursday evening and his parents and a group of other adults were having a social gathering there. A number of other children were also in the house.

It is understood that conflicting accounts of what happened in the hours leading up to the child's death were given to gardai.

A member of the HSE regional forum in the Dublin north-east area, Cllr Joe Reilly, yesterday called for an investigation into the death.

"The death of a child is a tragedy. There appears to be issues of concern in this particular instance. I would urge the HSE to carry out a full investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of this infant," he said.

A team from the Garda Technical Bureau spent four days examining the house and their findings, as well as those made by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy who carried out a post-mortem on the baby, led to the decision last night to make the arrests.

It was clear to staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, that his injuries were life threatening and, at around 2am last Friday, some two hours after being brought to the emergency department, he died.

The man was being held in Whitehall garda station in Dublin while the woman was taken to Balbriggan station.

Irish Independent