Community in shock at death of two-year-old

Gardaí were last night awaiting the results of an autopsy before deciding what direction their investigation would take in relation to the death of a toddler who sustained critical injuries in a Cork city apartment.

Community in shock at death of two-year-old

Gardaí were last night awaiting the results of an autopsy before deciding what direction their investigation would take in relation to the death of a toddler who sustained critical injuries in a Cork city apartment.

When gardaí arrived at the apartment at Elderwood Park on Boreenmanna Rd at around 5.20am yesterday following a noise disturbance complaint, they discovered the critically injured two-year-old girl. Two adults were also at the scene.

Gardaí attempted to revive the child using CPR while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Cork City Fire Brigade first responders also attended.

The child was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for emergency treatment. However, she died at 9.20am.

Deputy State pathologist Margot Bolster was due to conduct an autopsy at CUH yesterday afternoon.

A garda spokesperson said the autopsy results “will determine the course of the Garda investigation”.

No arrests had been made by yesterday evening.

Tributes to the girl.
Tributes to the girl.

Gardaí set up an incident room in Anglesea Street Garda Station and conducted door-to-door enquiries in Elderwood and the surrounding area yesterday as crime scene investigators carried out an examination of the apartment.

People in the area were in shock when news of the tragedy emerged.

Terry Shannon, a Cork city councillor who lives locally, described it as “an awful tragedy”.

“It’s just awful that a two-year-old-child has lost her life,” Mr Shannon said.

Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin TD for Cork East, said: “Any death is tragic but when it is a toddler like that, it would break your heart.”

Anyone with information that could assist the garda investigation is asked to contact Gardaí at Anglesea Street Station on 021 452 2000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Toddler’s death an ‘awful tragedy’

Elderwood apartments on Boreenmanna Rd, Cork. A girl, aged 2, sustained critical injuries, later passing away in Cork University Hospital. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Elderwood apartments on Boreenmanna Rd, Cork. A girl, aged 2, sustained critical injuries, later passing away in Cork University Hospital. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Children’s bicycles and tricycles, footballs, and various weather-resistant toys were evident across the patios of garden apartments backing onto a sizeable green to the rear of a complex where one apartment was cordoned off yesterday.

That apartment, at Elderwood Park on the Boreenmanna Rd, Cork city, was occupied by Crime Scene Investigators yesterday, following the death of a two-year-old child who sustained critical injuries in the early hours of Friday.

The U-shaped green enclosed by the complex was bathed in sunshine, but not a single child was in sight.

The most visible presence was An Garda Síochána, whose members were busy conducting door-to-door enquiries and looking to speak to anyone who might have overheard anything that gave rise to the noise disturbance complaint that brought them to the scene in the first place at 5.18am yesterday.

When they did arrive, there were two adults at the apartment, as well as the critically injured two-year-old girl. Gardaí administered CPR until the first responder unit of Cork City Fire Brigade arrived. The child was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital for emergency treatment but tragically passed away at 9.20am.

Elderwood Park, about 2km from Cork city, is a mix of apartments and duplexes, with balconies or patios.

Tributes left at the scene.
Tributes left at the scene.

It is a relatively young complex — residents moved into the final phase about a decade ago. The development was controversial at the time as it contained proposals for social and affordable housing and was staunchly opposed by some locals. However, City Hall used the legal powers available to it to clear it through planning.

The apartments and duplexes on the seven-acre site, in a largely middle-class area of the city, are of mixed tenure, some owner-occupier, others owned by investors, and some by the local authority. It is a prime location, in between the Ballinlough and Blackrock roads, and in close proximity to a well-maintained public park, schools, and sports facilities, including Cork Constitution Rugby Club and Páirc Uí Rinn. The apartments are home to a substantial number of families and young children.

People in the area were in shock when news of the tragedy emerged.

Terry Shannon, a local city councillor, described it as “an awful tragedy”.

“It’s just awful that a two-year-old-child has lost her life,” Mr Shannon said.

Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin TD for Cork East, said: “Any death is tragic but when it is a toddler like that, it would break your heart.”

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster travelled to CUH yesterday where she conducted a post mortem, the outcome of which will determine the direction the Garda investigation takes.

An incident room was established at Anglesea Street Garda Station and gardaí appealed for anyone who was in the Elderwood apartment complex between 4pm on Thursday and 6am yesterday to come forward.

No arrests had been made by yesterday evening.

Anyone with information that could assist the Garda investigation is asked to call 021 4522000 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

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