Mum and baby to be laid to rest today after CUMH tragedy

Mum and baby to be laid to rest today after CUMH tragedy
Marie Downey and her newborn son Darragh will be laid to rest today

THE mother and son who tragically passed away at Cork University Maternity Hospital this week are to be laid to rest together today.

Thirty-six-year-old Marie Downey was found dead on the floor of her hospital room on Monday morning at around 8am.

He newborn son Darragh was severely injured in the fall and underwent emergency treatment at the hospital.

However, he passed away the following day.

It is believed Ms Downey suffered a medical attack, possibly linked to epilepsy.

There was an outpouring of grief and support at the Downey home in Kildorrery in north Cork yesterday where hundreds of people turned up for the removal.

The funeral Mass is due to take place today in her home county of Limerick, at St Michael's Church, Balyagram, with burial afterwards in Castletown Cemetery.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said an independent review will be carried out into the deaths, which will be separate from the hospital's own inquiry.

It has been reported  that three nurses were caring for 31 mothers last Monday on Marie Downey’s ward when the incident occurred.

The Irish Times quoted hospital sources that said staffing on the overnight shift included one permanent nurse, one agency nurse and one newly qualified nurse.

It said nurses at the hospital are "upset and angered" at this week’s events and have again raised staffing issues in a meeting with union representatives during the week. 

Ms Downey lived in  Kildorrery with her husband Kieran and two other children and was an employee of Novartis in Ringaskiddy and a former mentor and player with Douglas Camogie Club.

Cork All Ireland winner and Douglas camogie’s Amanda O’Regan paid tribute to Ms Downey earlier this week, saying:

“Marie joined the club after starting work in Cork and quickly became a valued member of the team that brought first senior title to Douglas.

“A quiet person most of the time Marie was well able to hold her own especially when the banter began - a regular occurrence given her preference for wearing a Limerick jersey to training.

“Her relationship with Kieran was a constant during Marie's time with the club and even stood the test of him coaching her one season."

Ms Downey is mourned by her heartbroken husband Kieran, her adored sons and Darragh's big brothers James and Sean, parents Jim and Helen, parents-in-law Tom and Elma, brother-in-law Patrick, sisters-in-law, Una, Fiona, Ellen and Mairead, aunts, uncles, relatives, neighbours and friends.

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