Gardaí rule out link between two drug deaths days apart

Gardaí last night ruled out a connection between the suspected drugs-related deaths of a teenager and a man in his 20s in the same Cork city suburb in recent days.

Gardaí rule out link between two drug deaths days apart

A 16-year-old boy was found dead at his family home in Deermount yesterday morning. A 26-year-old man, meanwhile, died after becoming unwell after attending a party at the house he was visiting in nearby Greenmount in the early hours of Sunday.

Gardaí initially considered a possible link between the deaths but, following preliminary enquiries, they ruled out a connection last night.

However, a Garda spokesman said investigations are continuing.

They are tracing people who attended the party at the house in Greenmount and plan to speak to a friend of the teenager, in the hope he can shed light on the teen’s movements and behaviour in the hours before his death.

Michael Cornacchia, 16, from Deermount, was found unresponsive by his mother at the family home at around 10.30am yesterday.

Emergency services were alerted but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí conducted a forensic examination at the house and have ruled out foul play.

They are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy, due to be conducted at Cork University Hospital this morning to establish the exact cause of death.

However, they are considering a possible drugs link and are awaiting the results of toxicology tests which could take several weeks.

They hope a friend may be able to confirm if Michael consumed anything which could have contributed to his death.

A neighbour, Jack O’Keeffe, said locals are devastated. He described Michael as a tall, handsome, young man with sallow skin and dark flowing hair, and as a talented soccer player with a bright future ahead of him.

“He was a lovely kid — a handsome looking man. Italian blood in him, Italian looks. He had everything going for him. What a complete and utter shame,” he said.

Michael played soccer with several local soccer clubs and is understood to have been considered for trials with clubs in England.

“He’d remind you of Fellaini — he had his looks. He would have made it big time,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

“It’s a lovely neighbourhood. They are good, lovely, neighbours. Everybody is devastated, such a beautiful young man, it’s frightening.”

Gardaí, meanwhile, also want to speak to several people who attended a party on Saturday night at a house at nearby Presentation Place.

James O’Sullivan, 26, was found by emergency services in a critical condition in the house he was visiting in the early hours of Sunday.

Gardaí ruled out foul play but are awaiting the results of toxicology tests conducted as part of an autopsy yesterday to establish the exact cause of death.

Cllr Mick Finn, who knows both victims and their families, described the deaths as a “hammer blow” to the community which was already reeling from a spate of suspected suicide deaths before Christmas. “Here we have two more deaths of young people in tragic circumstances. Friends and neighbours are at a loss for words really,” he said.

He urged parents to be vigilant and pleaded with young people to steer clear of drugs and alcohol. “There are services locally for young people who need help, and there are people willing to help they just need to ask for it.”

He also called on gardaí to fully investigate the circumstances of the party in the house at Presentation Place. Mr Finn claimed it has been the subject of complaints about various forms of anti-social behaviour and the authorities are aware of problems there.

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