Inquest into deaths of mother and her newborn son in Cork hospital

Inquest into deaths of mother and her newborn son in Cork hospital

Marie Downey, who lived in Knockanevin near Kildorrery, Co Cork, was found on the floor of her single room in the hospital on May 25, 2019.

The inquest is due to get underway today into the death of a 36-year-old mother of two and her four-day-old son at Cork University Maternity Hospital. (CUMH).

Marie Downey, who lived in Knockanevin near Kildorrery, Co Cork, was found on the floor of her single room in the hospital on May 25, 2019.

The 36 year old, who was a native of Ballyagran in Limerick, had been due to be discharged from the hospital with baby Darragh in a matter of days.

One avenue of enquiry was that she may have have had an epileptic seizure while breastfeeding the infant and collapsed on Darragh who was found under her. Marie was pronounced dead at the scene whilst Darraigh passed away the following day.

Mrs Downey is survived by her husband Kieran and their children James and Sean. She was laid to rest with baby Darragh in her arms.

Independent review following tragedy

The inquest in Cork today will be presided over by Coroner Philip Comyn. Following the tragedy then Minister for Health Simon Harris ordered an independent review in to the deaths which was carried out by Dr Peter McKenna. Dr McKenna is the head of the HSE Woman and Infant Health Progamme.

Another review in to the deaths was carried out by the HSE South/South West Hospital Group which includes the CUMH.

'She always put us first'

Mrs Downey was an employee of Novartis in Cork.

At her funeral mass in St Michael’s Church in Ballyagran her husband Kieran said that his wife as a “a beautiful person, both inside and out.” "She had a heart of gold. She always put us first.

"Herself and Darragh are our special angels now.

"Our first dance at our wedding was to 'We Have Only Just Begun' - and we had only just begun. We love you Marie and Darragh.”

 Mother and son were buried at Castletown Cemetery in Co Limerick following their joint funeral mass.

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