Gardaí are treating as a tragic accident the death of a toddler in West Cork who it’s believed choked to death on a grape.
A post-mortem took place on the remains of the two-and-a-half-year-old, named locally as Joshua Odonker, at Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday to establish the exact cause of death.
While the results are not being made public, it’s understood Joshua got into difficulty while eating at home in Skibbereen on Wednesday evening and began choking after a grape lodged in his windpipe.
The alarm was raised just before 9pm and emergency services, including National Ambulance Service paramedics and gardaí, rushed to the scene in a housing estate near the town's post office.
Paramedics fought desperately to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is the second tragic fatality of a toddler in the Skibbereen area in less than a year.
Gardaí confirmed that they attended a house in the town on Wednesday evening following the sudden death of a young boy.
They said that they were treating the incident as a tragic accident and that foul play was not suspected.
“The coroner (for West Cork) has been notified and a post-mortem will be held at Cork University Hospital,” a spokesman said.
“Gardaí are currently treating the death as a tragic accident and foul play is not suspected.
“Owing to the tragic nature of the incident no further information is available.”
The results of the post-mortem will form a key part of the garda file which will now be prepared for the coroner's court.
An inquest into the little boy's death will be held in due course.
It’s understood that Joshua's family is originally from Ghana and that they are relatively new arrivals in the town, and may have been living in the area for just a few months.
Local Independent county councillor Karen Coakley said while the family was not widely known, the town has been rocked by the tragedy.
“It’s hard to comprehend,” she said.
“It’s hard to put into words how the family must be feeling given the tragedy and obviously our deepest condolences go out to them.”
Last January, an 18-month-old boy suffered fatal injuries after he was struck by a car in the driveway of a house in the Tralispean area of the town.
He was transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.