Tributes paid to teenager who died after taking drugs at Cork's Indiependence festival

Tributes paid to teenager who died after taking drugs at Cork's Indiependence festival
Clonmel teenager Jack Downey (19) who was hospitalised at Cork University Hospital (CUH) after taking a substance at a Cork music festival and has since died.

A teenager who died after consuming drugs at a festival has been described as a “young boy who had a future ahead of him”.

19-year-old Jack Downey from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, died on Monday after becoming ill while attending the Indiependence Festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

He was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Friday after presenting at the festival’s medical tent complaining of feeling unwell.

Festival organisers issued an alert about a “bad batch of something” on the campsite on Friday, and the hospital confirmed that a “single patient with a severe illness” had been admitted from the festival that evening.

A former student at CBS High School in Clonmel, Mr Downey had recently finished first year in college. His father Johnny is a garda in Clonmel, and his mother Elaine is a jeweller in the town.

Fine Gael councillor and Mayor of Clonmel Garret Ahearn described Mr Downey as “a young boy who had a future ahead of him.”

“He was an only son who was very involved in the GAA, and his parents are part of the bedrock of the community here. It’s a really tough time for them,” he said.

About 400 people turned out at a vigil for Mr Downey organised by his local GAA club Clonmel Óg, who said their “worst fears had been realised” on hearing news of his death.

The organisers of Indiependence, which saw 15,000 people attend at the weekend, issued a statement on Monday evening saying their “immediate thoughts and those of all the festival-goers are with the family, relatives and friends of the deceased at their very sad loss”.

Gardaí confirmed on Monday that investigations are ongoing in relation to the teenager’s death.

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