Teen who passed away after festival died from total organ failure due to ingestion of ecstasy and morphine

Jack Downey began to feel unwell at the festival on August 2 at around 4.30pm.

Teen who passed away after festival died from total organ failure due to ingestion of ecstasy and morphine

A teenager who died after he became ill at the Indiependence music festival passed away from total organ failure with hyperthermia due to the ingestion of ecstasy and morphine, Cork Coroner's Court has heard.

Jack Downey, 19, of Ard Caoin in Clonmel, Co Tipperary passed away on August 5, 2019 at Cork University Hospital (CUH) having been rushed there three days earlier.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster carried out a postmortem on the teenager.

She said Jack died of organ failure with hyperthermia following the ingestion of ecstasy and morphine.

A contributory factor was aspiration pneumonia.

The garda investigation is ongoing.

Coroner Philip Comyn extended his sympathy to the family following their tragic loss.

Inspector Ronan Kennelly also offered his condolences to the Downey family.

The expressions of sympathy will be passed on to the family. The inquest was adjourned for mention until August 20 next.

Jack, who had family ties in Glengarriff, Co Cork is survived by his parents Elaine and Johnny.

Such was his popularity that his removal and funeral mass in Clonmel was attended by thousands of people.

He lay in repose at Clonmel Óg Hurling & Football Club.

Chief celebrant at the mass, Fr Michael Hegarty, said that such was the outpouring of support for the bereaved parents that the removal to the church which was supposed to occur at 8pm instead took place two hours later.

Johnny Downey, father of the late Jack, said he wasn't one for "fancy words".

He recalled the birth of his only child telling mourners that Jack was 11lbs when he was born and that he was "a big man even then".

Mr Downey urged Jack's friends and loved ones to watch out for each other.

"There is no blame. He will be missed - his friends are now to look after each other and not forget."

"I used to sit back and just admire him - he was a man with a presence. A cheeky little smile."

He was a fabulous boy - and I am proud to call him my son.

Elaine Downey spoke of her fond memories of her son who was a goalie with Clonmel Óg.

She recalled the full of life teenager who would take over the kitchen table repairing his hurleys.

Mourners were asked to donate to the ICU at CUH in lieu of flowers.

Mr Downey began to feel unwell at the festival on August 2 at around 4.30pm.

He went to the medical tent onsite and was transferred to CUH where he died three days later.

Jack had completed first year in Cork Institute of Technology and was due back to college the following month.

Counselling services were made available to impacted students.

Following his death his parents spoke to Brendan O'Connor on the Marian Finucane show on RTÉ Radio.

They have urged parents to talk to their children about drugs, saying that it is a problem that affects everyone regardless of class.

Johnny Downey said that he never thought they would lose their son in this manner.

These are young smart, educated people who think they're invincible. There is no class to it.

"We're afraid to ask the question of our own, because we are in a bubble and we think it is not gong to happen to our own. We need to cop on."

When Jack was dying lots of his friends came to see him. His parents said they felt "duty bound" to open up the room in the ICU to his pals.

Johnny and Elaine said they wanted the young people to see the dangers.

It was "one mistake," said Johnny.

"To see Jack there, lying in a bed, tubes coming out of everywhere," said Elaine. "There, our lovely boy, ravaged."

Elaine Downey walked in the Tipperary Ladies mini marathon last September in order to raise funds for the ICU unit where her son died.

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