Mother of teen who died after taking substance at festival to walk marathon to raise funds for CUH

Mother of teen who died after taking substance at festival to walk marathon to raise funds for CUH

The mother of teenager Jack Downey who died after he took a substance at the Indiependence Festival in Co Cork in August is to participate in the Tipperary Ladies Mini Marathon in order to raise funds for the intensive care unit (ICU) where her son died.

Elaine Quigley and her friend Sinead Murray plan to walk the mini-marathon on September 29 next.

Sinead says that Elaine and her husband Johnny want to give something back to Cork University Hospital (CUH) after staff responded with such sensitivity in their hour of need.

Ms Murray says the Downey family are also trying to raise drugs awareness to prevent this sort of suffering from being inflicted on other families.

"This death has hit everybody. Once your child goes out whether it be to a concert or a match you are not at ease until they come back.

"When Jack left for Indiependence, Elaine was looking forward to him coming back. Little did we know what was going to happen.

"She feels that if she can stop this from happening to even one other family it would make a difference."

Sinead has contacted the hospital charity fund in Cork and they have arranged special sponsorship cards and t-shirts for the day.

"We would love if people could come out and join us on the day or even take a sponsorship card for the day.

"When I mentioned this (marathon) to Elaine she said she wanted to walk with me. She wants to do anything at all she can to help."

Meanwhile, in a moving interview on Marian Finucane's radio show, on RTE Radio 1, just weeks after the tragedy Elaine said that parents need to realise that drugs are now a reality in society.

Elaine Quigley mother of Jack Downey who died at the Indiependence music festival in August pictured alongside her friend Sinead Murray.
Elaine Quigley mother of Jack Downey who died at the Indiependence music festival in August pictured alongside her friend Sinead Murray.

"I never thought it would impact me, that my son would be in the cemetery," she said.

Johnny Downey, who is a Clonmel based garda, said we put ourselves in a bubble thinking its not going to happen to us.

"We need to cop on and take a look around. It's so prevalent that we're oblivious and turned a blind eye."

Jack Downey (19) of Ard Caoin in Clonmel passed away on August 5 having been rushed to Cork University Hospital three days earlier after he fell ill at the festival.

Huge crowds gathered at the funeral and removal of the accounting student.

At the requiem mass Johnny Downey urged Jack's friends and loved ones to watch out for each other.

"There is no blame. He will be missed - his friends are now to look after each other and not forget."

Mother of teen who died after taking substance at festival to walk marathon to raise funds for CUH

He said that his beloved son was a larger than life character.

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

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

Jack had completed the first year at Cork Institute of Technology and had an outgoing and cheerful personality. He was particularly known for his love of the GAA and was a talented sportsman.

Anyone who would like to take part in the Tipperary Mini Marathon or to contribute to the walk in any way is asked to contact Sinead Murray on 086 101 7057 or at sineadmurray78@gmail.com.

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