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Agony of grieving mother who found adorable baby son face down in bath

A MOTHER-of-four wept as she described finding her 11-month-old son face down in a bath after leaving him to collect dry towels.

Mary Ann Daly sobbed as she told how she heard her two-year-old daughter Brittany saying to her son, 'Wake up Anthony, wake up'.

The tragic details emerged as a coroner's inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death for Anthony Williams Daly on October 3 last at the family home in Onslow Gardens, Commons Road, Cork.


Mary Ann -- hailed by her family as a loving and devoted mother -- wept as she explained to the inquest that she had left her two youngest children in the bath that evening as she ran downstairs to collect dry towels.

She also switched on the kettle in the kitchen to make Anthony a fresh bottle.

When she ran back up to the bathroom, Brittany was confused and trying to wake up Anthony. "I got the towels -- I went back upstairs and I heard Brittany calling, 'Wake up, Anthony, wake up'. I came into the room and could see him lying face down in the water."

She was out of the room for less than two minutes, she said.

Mary Ann -- who is now expecting her fifth child -- said she desperately called to her partner Fred Williams who had just arrived home from work. They conducted frantic cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the toddler as they rang for an ambulance.

Paramedics were on the scene within minutes and rushed the toddler to the Mercy University Hospital.

However, doctors were unable to revive the toddler and Anthony was pronounced dead shortly after admission. Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted a post mortem and ruled that the little boy died from drowning -- with no sign whatsoever of any trauma.

Speaking to the Herald after the inquest, Mr Williams said: "He was our pride and joy -- he was a gorgeous little boy. He was so happy and was always smiling. We're absolutely heartbroken."

Cork coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said: "We can only imagine the distress and agony that the parents of the late Anthony have been going through."