'They are our special angels now' - heartbroken family bury Marie Downey and her 4-day-old son

'They are our special angels now' - heartbroken family bury Marie Downey and her 4-day-old son
The remains of Marie Downey and baby Darragh being taken from the funeral Mass in Ballyagran today. Pic: Brendan Gleeson.

The heartbroken family of tragic Marie Downey and her infant son Darragh, who both died at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) last week, have “two special angels” watching over them, mourners were told at their funeral mass today.

Four-day-old Darragh was laid to rest in the arms of his mother at Castletown Cemetery, Co Limerick, following their joint funeral mass in Ms Downey’s native Ballyagran.

In a deeply emotional tribute to his wife and son, Kieran Downey told mourners gathered at St Michael’s Church in Ballyagran village, how his 36-year-old wife was “a beautiful person, both inside and out”.

“She had a heart of gold. She always put us first. We were her life and she was ours,” he said.

“Herself and Darragh are our special angels now.”

Mr Downey also recalled how the “first dance” played at the couple’s wedding was the Carpenters hit “We’ve Only Just Begun”.

The congregation applauded as he ended the love letter to his wife and baby son: “And, we had only just begun. We will love you and Darragh forever.”

A number of investigations are continuing into the circumstances of the deaths of the mother and son at CUMH.

They were found on the floor of the room with Ms Downey partially on top of her son.

A joint inquest will take place at the Cork City Coroner’s Court at a later date.

Symbols representing Ms Downey’s love of sport were placed by her coffin including her camogie jerseys; a handbag symbolising her love of shopping; as well as a family photo of baby Darragh with his two big brothers, James and Sean.

In another deeply poignant scene, little James brought to the altar two pink teddy bears he shares with Sean, to add to Darragh’s pink teddy, symbolising the bond of the three brothers.


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