Viral infection caused death of Limerick toddler

By David Raleigh

Gardaí have described the death of two-year-old Robert Kelly from Limerick, as a "family tragedy".

A post mortem this evening revealed the toddler died from a viral infection that travelled to his heart and brain, his grand uncle Anthony Kelly said.

"No one could have saved him. We are all devastated, it was a viral infection that either travelled to his heart or his brain. He showed no symptoms, no one could have done anything for him. If you get it as an adult you can seemingly fight it but it's worse if you are a small child," Mr Kelly said.

Gardaí have confirmed the most likely cause of death according to the autopsy report was a "viral infection".

"It's a terrible tragedy for the family, that's all I can say," a Garda source said.

The family of a two-year old boy found dead in an apartment on Sunday, also described as "vile" and "disgusting", messages posted online about the family, hours after the boy's lifeless body was discovered.

Little Robert was found unresponsive by his uncle Damien, 20, when he went to wake him from an afternoon nap on Saturday.

The child's grand uncle, Derek Kelly, said the family are still trying to come to terms with Robert's sudden passing, and he condemned abuse he said had been thrown at the family across social media websites.

"We're very irate," Mr Kelly explained.

"They were calling the family scumbags. One woman (who) put it up realised what she had done, and she took it back down again."

"There was some vile and disgusting comments on Facebook initially. As far as I know they have (been taken down)," he added.

Mr Kelly said the boy would be "waked" from the Kelly home in O'Malley Park from between 4pm-8pm tomorrow. Mass of the Angels is to take place at Southill Church at 11am.

Little Robert is due to be buried alongside his grand uncles Michael and Damien. Michael was known as a 'hard man' enforcer in the 1980s, later turning his back on crime to become a poll topping local politician.

He is believed to have shot himself while staying at his mother's house in June 2004 however, the gun was never recovered. His body was later exhumed by the family to disprove a newspaper story that the gun was later buried along side him in his grave.

"Damien was hanged in Cork in Fort Mitchell on Spike Island in 1994. He was hanged by three prisoners there. Mickey was shot dead in Lilac Court in 2004. (Robert) is being interred with them. We didn't want him on his own, we wanted his grand uncles to look after him in the grave," Derek Kelly said.


More in this Section

Varadkar: Hard border on island of Ireland post-Brexit will be UK’s faultVaradkar: Hard border on island of Ireland post-Brexit will be UK’s fault

West cork gardaí seek to honour young people for outstanding voluntary community work West cork gardaí seek to honour young people for outstanding voluntary community work

1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report

Fermoy teens missing in forest found using infared equipmentFermoy teens missing in forest found using infared equipment


Lifestyle

In January of 1994, RTÉ reporter Tommie Gorman was given a diagnosis that would change his life.Examine Yourself: Getting cancer made sense of everything for Tommie Gorman

In aid of Cancer Awareness Week, we convinced four of our columnists to bare all for our Examine Yourself campaign.Examine Yourself: Baring all for Cancer Awareness Week

It was an effervescent and often moving turn by an artist with a meaningful claim to the title of world’s most interesting pop star.Ariana Grande's opening night at 3Arena in Dublin proved why she is the world's most interesting pop star

Marian Duggan was in her 20s and could not imagine that her symptoms could be so serious, not even when a tennis-ball-size cyst was removed from her left ovary, says Helen O’Callaghan.Examine Yourself: 'I thought I was too young to have cancer'

More From The Irish Examiner